Chapter 27: Unrivalled Beneath the Heavens (One)
"The last one was Fortuity Profound Liquid. The one before it was an upper-grade mystic artifact."
Xu Yangyi's expression finally became serious.
Fortuity Profound Liquid didn't have any other efficacies. It was dark green like water, hazy like smoke and fog, and could be injected into the vein via syringe… Perhaps great Foundation Establishment and Core Formation cultivators would remain unmoved, but to initial-stage and middle-stage Qi Condensation cultivators, it was enough to go wild for!
It also had another name… known as Spirit Cleansing Elixir.
There wasn't any other effect. There was only one and that was to thoroughly wash away a cultivator's flesh of impurities. It was a genuine "shedding of the mortal body and exchange of the bones"! It could transform one's constitution into one most suitable for cultivating!
The development of cultivation to the present had proved long ago that spiritual energy was like the root of power and the body was a machine. If a comparison had to be made, was it not like the movement of MMORPGs brought to computers during the year 2000?
It couldn't be!
He was tempted, however the root of his temptation wasn't because he could shed his body and make new his bones, cleansing meridians and cut his marrow. Rather...
It was because of his sea of essence!
His sea of essence was was in middle of slowly expanding at a rate that couldn't be seen by the naked eye. This was a matter related to the mysterious, small chest that he couldn't talk about to anyone under any circumstance. If the Fortuity Profound Liquid was capable of resolving this problem, then things couldn't be better!
In nearly a flash, he had decided. If he had heard about the Qualifier before, then he would've still been indifferent to it, but at this moment, he resolved to put the entirety of his strength into it!
The lion had at long last decided to tear away its disguise of sheepskin.
Even if it wasn't the Fortuity Profound Liquid, and some other prize, it would unquestionably be another prize on the same level!
"Nobody isn't looking forward to a true arcane effort… right? Yuyang City's Rank One?" Chu Zhaonan looked at his expression and said.
"Contestants are divided into 369 ranks, but only the most truly powerful person is capable of seizing a Core Formation master's prize!" Chu Zhaonan straightened his figure and the might of his entire body erupted outwards like a volcano. He said heavily word for word: "I, Chu Zhaonan, with the status as Tianfeng City's Rank One, challenge you!"
Xu Yangyi looked at him calmly and nodded only after a long time: "I hope you can stay standing at the end."
"Good…" Chu Zhaonan narrowed his eyes and used his thumb to forcefully slash over his throat, licking his lips: "Truly, that brings me an endless excitement…"
Their voices were quite low, so that none of the others could hear it. Xu Yangyi didn't ask Chu Zhaonan why he knew of things that the school wouldn't teach; this was a question that wouldn't have an answer.
Zuo Lun didn't let them wait for too long, and after their initial astonishment, he fished out a black paper crane from his jacket pocket and flicked it away with his finger. The paper crane swaggeringly flew away.
Less than two minutes later, the paper crane flew back. As Zuo Lun received it, he suddenly raised his bows. Immediately, he suddenly took a step back and couldn't help but to bow at the waist, watching the paper crane incredulously.
The paper crane wasn't black.
Rather… it was red!
"This… This is…" His distraction lasted for less than a second, and he immediately turned his head back excitedly, throat moving in glee as he said hoarsely: "Rookies, listen well, you're in luck. There's a Foundation Establishment senior showing up! This is your goddamn, heaven-sent golden opportunity to rise to the top!"
In this flash of time, he we unable to stop the heaving of his chest, and his eyes were somewhat red. After he finished speaking, he couldn't restrain himself from cursing lowly: "Fuck… This luck… How come I didn't hear of a Foundation Establishment senior observing the ceremony when I was graduating!"
A Foundation Establishment senior!
In a split second, it wasn't only theirs, but nearly everyone's eyes held a fanaticism to them as they looked at the red paper crane that could even be said to be cute.
Xu Yangyi cautiously waited with rapt attention and Chu Zhaonan was heavy like water. However, the rough sound of breathing that could be heard was an absolute irregularity coming from the body of a cultivator!
These three words caused extreme admiration in the hearts of men!
A hundred years for Foundation Establishment. To these newcomers that had just graduated, Foundation Establishment represented countless riches! A legend that light firearms were nearly completely ineffective against! A whole two hundred years of life!
In other words, it was... human-shaped monster!
These had always been things that could only be found in books. The headmaster of the branch was at most only the late-stage of Qi Condensation. To them, Foundation Establishment was a familiar yet strange word. They didn't expect that their graduation ceremony would surprisingly have a Foundation Establishment cultivator in attendance!
If they were picked by one...
If they were received by one as a disciple...
For a moment, no one spoke. There was only the sound of fairly rushed breathing, betraying the state of everyone's minds.
Xu Yangyi clenched his fist without movement or sound. A Foundation Establishment cultivator would be observing the Qualifier… The sequence of events for the graduation ceremony hadn't been spoken of, and this stroke of good fortune had surprisingly been concealed!
"If you're accepted into the camp of a Foundation Establishment senior, it can be said that your path of cultivation has already opened by a half. Seize this chance properly, recruits." Zuo Lun sucked in deeply and waved his hand. The red paper crane flew over to his finger, and following, a sentence was clearly transmitted into his mind.
"A person per room. Let the assignment be to themselves."
At the same time, inside a gigantic room, a slender hand with a platinum ring on the forefinger held a coffee cup at the side of a mouth and gently set it down. A pair of long and narrow eyes tranquilly swept over the tremendous widescreen.
Altogether, there were ten lattices. On the lower right side were the students' numbers, and on the left side, there was a person on each frame. Ahead of the display screen, there were five to six people sitting down. Behind them were ten additional people standing.
At the very most center, there was a middle-aged man wearing a tunic suit. He had tiny eyes, long and narrow, and had his hair styled in a short buzz. His stature wasn't tall nor was it short, and he wore a platinum ring on his right hand. His skin was frighteningly white as if he was a vampire in broad daylight.
His lanky fingers laid criss-crossed over his chest, and he sunk himself entirely in the cozy, wide chair. In the entire room, apart from his soft chair that was no less than half a meter in space, the other chairs were all the size of a small toilet seat.
At his left there was a youth twenty-three to twenty-four years of age sitting down in a western suit with his back ramrod straight. On his right, there was an old man with a full head and beard of white hair carrying a smile on his face.
The entire room was silent without fanfare or chatter. The only thing that remained was the faint sound of breathing that couldn't be heard. The youth closed his eyes, and from time to time, the light sound of stroking from the ring on his finger could be heard.
The old man on the right side smiled faintly: "Shadowslay, you still have many years of your life, do you have a seedling you fancy this time? Wouldn't be better to let this old one to pick first?"
Shadowslay didn't respond, slowly caressing his ring. After a while, he glanced at Xu Yangyi's window and said indifferently: "I do."
"The kid that killed that berserker?" Firecloud followed the glance of his gaze and slightly smiled: "Nothin' but pecking between two spring chickens… however, to be able to move the heart of the southern four provinces Number One, Shadowslay, is also his predestined fortune."
"It's just…" He paused unhurriedly and took a sip of the cup of coffee he was holding: "Our camp is interested in him, as well."
The youth at the side raised his lips.
Shadowslay seemed to be a block of wood, his face without the shred of an expression. He didn't speak, and the youth behind him dressed in a full western suit and wearing gold-rimmed spectacles immediately stepped forward. He bowed respectfully at nearly a right angle and laughed: "Your Excellency Firecloud, His Excellency Shadowslay's camp is without a single disciple…"
Firecloud smiled and nodded, carrying a splendid smile on his plump face. His hand holding his cup of coffee stopped, and he laughed willfully: "So it's like that… I understand. Five years a graduation… Our first graduation wait was pretty painful. Our camp ran short of people… Hehe, so it's finally time for blockhead to take on a disciple, huh…"
He seemed to sight somewhat ruefully: "However…"
"Who allowed you to speak?" His laughter swept over the widescreen display. He didn't even glance at the youth, and he pounded his armrest rhythmically with his finger, his smile even worse: "Who gave you the right? A mortal?"
A heavy sound echoed and rang out in midair. Like two invisible, gigantic hands collided together in the air, the surrounding air congealed in a second!
"Kaboom… Kaboom…" The echoing of heavy sounds ceased, and all the objects in their environment were all surprisingly trembling slightly!
It wasn't known when but Shadowslay was already looking towards the old man. In kind, the old man smiled and looked at him.
Besides the youth on the left, the surrounding people's complexions were drained to a ghastly pallor. The formless atmosphere between the two men caused the beating of their hearts to stop. The present scene held a death-like silence.
"P-p-please forgive my offence…" After a momentary quiet, the youth that had spoken was trembling from head to toe with his forehead slick with cold sweat. Without the least bit hesitation, he kneeled, his body trembling like the sifting of chaff. With his hoarse voice, he yelled: "Your Excellency! I beg your forgiveness! I'm sorry! Ten thousand apologies!"
"Scram, you will receive ten lashes. If you do not die, you shall come again to serve this throne." Shadowslay's voice was somewhat raspy. He looked at the old man and said with a complicated tinge in his voice: "You actually broke through to the middle stage of Foundation Establishment?"
"I am no heaven-blessed hero like you. It is merely nothing more than my hard work to make up for my inadequacies." Firecloud restrained his smile and leaned his body forward. His gaze swept over the number one at the lower left of Xu Yangyi's and Chu Zhaonan's portraits: "I scheduled these two in advance. Besides the champion of the Qualifier, can you not let them come to me?"
Shadowslay raised a brow.
"Outside of any unexpected mishaps, that young Xu from Nantong Province has a 70% possibility of ascending to the top." Firecloud said softly: "I said three people, but I actually only want two. How about it?"
Shadowslay didn't open his mouth and said insipidly several seconds later: "It's not that there are geniuses in these graduations, but it's hard to meet a fiend like Sunnihilator even once in a hundred years."
"Nevertheless, it must be tried." Firecloud laughed: "I'll allow a small branch of your minerals company in Zhaoxue City. What do you say?"
After three minutes of silence, Shadowslay said faintly: "You may."
"Che…" At this time, the youth at his side who had always been silent surprisingly smiled. Yet Shadowslay and Firecloud didn't have the least bit intention of interrupting.
"I'm much obliged." Firecloud laughed and cupped his hands towards Shadowslay. He looked at the smiling youth at the side: "Mr. Fang, send my regards to the provincial governor on my behalf. What matter has caused you to laugh?"
Fang Tansheng sipped at his coffee leisurely: "How can I dare laugh towards the two seniors? It is merely what Lord Firecloud said about this Xu… Xu Yangyi having a 70% chance of obtaining the championship. In my humble opinion, he doesn't even have one percent of a chance."
"Oh?" Firecloud's gaze flickered: "It seems there is some inside scoop I am unaware about?"
"It can't be considered an inside scoop. It's been nothing more than a mere decade. You two immortal masters are enthralled with cultivation; it is natural you are not as versed as such to the world of ordinary mortals." Fang Tansheng laughed and supported his hand on his lower jaw. He looked complicatedly at the computer screen displaying Chu Zhaonan and smiled: "You two immortal masters, do you not remember the strange tale of fifteen years ago in Mingshui Province's capital, Panshan City, the 'The Sun-Lit Ten-Thousand Mile Journey' of the provincial governor's madam?"
T/N: These Foundation Establishment guys refer to themselves as 本座 literally "this seat". I translated this as "this throne" depending on the situation. Refers to 本 - oneself and 座 - one's own high ranking. Used in antiquity to denote nobility.