In terms of cultivation, Li Fuchen fell short from the two of them.
In terms of technique rank, Li Fuchen fell short as well.
But in terms of the physical strength and defense, Li Fuchen exceeded both of them by a mile.
In the entire outer sect, except for Li Fuchen, there was only one other disciple that had cultivated the Crimson Battle Form to completion.
In an instant, Fang Liehai and Gao Changtian collided, their violent qi forces was like thunder roaring above the lake.
It was the same Raging Wave Sword Style, but when executed by Fang Liehai, its potential was increased by more than two fold.
The water that was splashed in mid-air was gradually flowing towards where the sword qi was. With the ignition from the sword force, all that water was launched like riptides against Gao Changtian.
"Rising Sea of Clouds!"
Gao Changtian's Cloud Stream Sword Style had many similarities with the Raging Wave Sword Style. One was a wave of sea while the other was a wave of clouds, both were water based techniques.
The Cloud Stream Sword Style in the hands of Gao Changtian was executed elegantly, and was not any inferior to Fang Liehai's Raging Wave Sword Style.
Gao Changtian swung his sword which was also attached with water, increasing the sword art's firepower.
A battle between two prodigies was extremely intense, it was like watching two lower level Origin Realm martial artists fighting.
"The two of you best stop before going too far! Do you think the Cang Lan Sect's rules exist for nothing?"
Eventually, the commotion on the lake caught the attention of an outer sect elder.
This outer sect elder was like an arrow penetrating through the air, with a wave of his hand, a valiant qi force broke the two apart.
Fang Liehai and Gao Changtian spoke respectfully.
"Get out of here! How inappropriate for you all to gather here."
The elder didn't intend to punish anyone. Fights between disciples were actually encouraged within the Cang Lan Sect as long as it didn't go overboard.
Just like that, the grand battle on the lake had come to the end. But everyone knew this matter had not been settled yet, and was only festering for the next battle.
With the time passing very quickly, Li Fuchen had been in the Cang Lan Sect for nine months.
There was a 3 floored Tower of Tribulations within the outer sect.
According to sect rules for 1st grade outer sect disciples, those that did not pass through the first floor of the tower within the first year, would have their 1st grade disciple status removed and demoted to a 2nd grade disciple.
At the same time, anyone who could pass the first floor of the tower within the first year, would be promoted to a 1st grade outer sect disciple regardless of their current status.
Other than the sect rules, the Tower of Tribulations was where the rankings of the outer sect disciples were determined.
Passing the first floor of the tower would mean that you were within the top 5000 outer sect disciples.
Passing the second floor would mean you had the ability of the top 500.
Passing the third floor meant that you were at least among the top 100 disciples in the outer sect.
The time which you require to pass the tower would determine your actual rank.
Take for example, if everyone passed the third floor of the tower, but you were slower than another disciple. That would mean you had a lower ranking than him/her.
This was also why, if the rank difference between two disciples were only 10, 20 or 30, the actual combat ability may not be that much of a difference.
This was perhaps the reason why disciples within the top 100 rank and outside of the top 10 rank had such a drastic difference.
Li Fuchen was afraid he would forget to make an attempt to pass the Tower of Tribulations. Thus, he was here to make an attempt and at the same time, see what rank he would be able to attain right now.
The Tower of Tribulation was situated deep within the outer sect region. Many outer sect disciples were in the waiting queue, waiting for their attempt.
"One by one. First, ring the tribulation bell. If the bell can't even sound out, it is unnecessary to attempt the Tower of Tribulations."
Outside the Tower of Tribulations which was tens of meters tall bell. A few outer sect deacons and a huge batch of outer sect deacon apprentices were maintaining the order of this place.
"Give way, allow me."
A surly and unreasonable outer sect disciple forced open the crowd and took the first place position in the queue. The deacon apprentices that were trying to preserve order treated it as though they didn't see anything. These sort of scenarios were such a common occurrences that they had seen then plenty of times before.
This outer sect disciple had great skills, a casual punch vibrated the tribulation bell and caused an echo.
"Alright, you may proceed!"
An outer sect deacon gestured with a wave of his hand.
Roughly a dozen breaths passed before the glow on the first floor was extinguished. This meant that this disciple had passed the first floor of the tower.
15 minutes passed as the glow on the second floor became extinguished as well.
"Record it, time spent: 48 ticks."
One of the outer sect deacons declared the results to the timekeeping deacon apprentice.
Before coming, Li Fuchen found out that the Tower of Tribulations used the clepsydra for time records. 1 hour had 180 ticks and 45 ticks represented 15 minutes. So, 48 ticks was roughly estimated as slightly more than 15 minutes.
"Wretched! Didn't pass the third floor again."
Soon, the outer sect disciple came out with a bad mood.
"Liu Dacheng, your result is: second floor of the Tower of Tribulations. Time spent: 48 ticks, rank 250."
The speaking deacon apprentice then grabbed a wooden plaque that had 'Liu Dacheng' carved on it and hung it on a stone wall by the side.
It was a huge stone wall filled with wooden plaques; a total of 500.
Every plaque had a name on it, and on the back of it was a small piece of wood that had their time recorded on it.
"250 may not sound good, but it is considerably better than my last attempt."
Liu Dacheng's face finally turned for the better after hearing the results.
The outer sect deacon waved his hand, gesturing for Liu Dacheng to leave.
One after another the outer sect disciples took turns to give a go at the Tower of Tribulations. A minority couldn't even get the tribulation bell to ring, a majority could only get through the first floor, and those that could reach the second floor could be counted on one's fingers.
When in front of the stone wall, Li Fuchen looked up at the wall.
In first was Yu Wentian, using only 15 ticks to clear the third floor. Second rank was Shang Guang Hong who used 21 ticks to clear the third floor…
The tenth rank, Gao Changtian, using 30 ticks to pass third floor. Rank 12, Fang Liehai who also used 30 ticks to pass the third floor…
Rank 361 was Guan Xue, she used 60 ticks to clear the second floor.
"Interesting, but the ranking estimation isn't very accurate as well."
Li Fuchen was quite engrossed in thought.
Some were good at the blitzkrieg strategy, whereas some preferred to do it steadily and surely.
Some of them were attack specialists, while others were defense specialists.
Some utilised their explosive power, but some relied on being sturdy instead.
The rankings in terms of true ability was much complex, and could only be revealed after an official fight.
The rankings determined by the Tower of Tribulations could only be used as an reference, but even so, it wasn't an accurate reference. There were always huge fluctuations in the rankings.
As Li Fuchen was looking at the stone wall, on the Tower of Tribulations, the glow on the third floor was suddenly extinguished.
"Someone passed the third floor, amazing…"
The group was suddenly lit up.
Those disciples that were here would normally have the ability at the top 5000. To them, disciples that were in the top 500 ranks were already influential figures. Top 100 disciples were considered the peak of all these influential figures.
But all of them had something in common, their future prospect.
"54 ticks spent, ranked 59, not bad…"
The outer sect deacon was beaming while addressing the disciple who came out.
1 hour later, it was Li Fuchen's turn.
Li Fuchen successfully rang the tribulation bell without any mishaps.
As it was Li Fuchen's first attempt at the Tower of Tribulations, he didn't have a wooden plaque that was for him. The outer sect deacon revolved his qi in the dark and carved Li Fuchen's name on an empty wooden plaque.
"You may enter!"
The deacon didn't had much expectations for Li Fuchen. As most of the people who went for their first attempts, didn't do very well. If they could pass the first floor, it was considerably good and there were seldom first-timers who could get pass the second floor.
Lightly exhaling a breath of qi, Li Fuchen took his first step into the first floor of the Tower of Tribulations.