Within three days, more than 500 people had gathered before the stone gate. Most of them were mortals who had not cultivated before and there were a couple dozens of Qi Refinement Warriors.
Once the three days had passed, the fog behind them turned murkier and impenetrable.
Even if anyone outside wanted to join Ethereal Peak, they could only wait for the next year by now.
Notwithstanding the 500 odd people waiting outside the stone gate, even the two children could not really conceal their fatigue after the three days as they stood there chatting idly.
“Senior brother, how many of these people do you think can get to join the sect?”
“Five at most.”
Through that vast forest, the sound of birds singing and running water was all around. As such, the discussion of the two children was almost like mosquito buzzing and no one could hear them.
Yet, within the crowd, a bow and saber carrying scholar frowned as a look of shock flashed through his eyes.
Cultivating The Mystic Classic of the Twelve Demon Kings of the Great Wilderness did not merely change one’s body. The Body Tempering aspect would heighten their sense of smell; the Tendons Transformation aspect their sense of vision and the Bones Strengthening aspect their hearing.
The changes were all encompassing.
Even though Su Zimo was of the Human race, his physical body and five senses were even sharper than those of Spirit Beasts!
Despite the soft voices of the two children, Su Zimo heard everything clear as day.
Only five out of the 500 of them could be accepted into the sect!
That was a ratio of 1:100! How could anyone imagine that?
Su Zimo had initially thought that he would be able to enter Ethereal Peak with ease with his borrowed Heaven spirit root. But now, it seemed like he couldn’t just rely on that!
The conditions for one to be able to join Ethereal Peak must be extremely stringent or there wouldn’t be so many people eliminated!
Just as Su Zimo was contemplating on what he should do, he heard the two children continue.
“Who do you think stands a greater chance, senior brother?”
“The couple that doesn’t really seem to fit in. Even though they’re only at Level 5 Qi Condensation, they look like they have an extraordinary aura. They’re decent. Oh, that little fatty too. He looks rather sharp so he should be fine. Junior brother, he’s even fatter than you! Hehe!”
Su Zimo swept his gaze at him.
Amongst the crowd, a man and woman stood by their own somewhere slightly further, not fitting in with the crowd.
Su Zimo was around the same age as the man who wore a purple robe with sharp brows and an edged chin. He looked haughty as his hands rested behind his back with eyes closed, standing still. It looked as though he was one with the environment.
The woman was wearing a flawless white blouse and looked beautiful like a fairy. Yet, her ravishing looks carried a cold expression where one could sense from a distance away.
Su Zimo had a feeling that the reason why the man did not want to fit in was out of disdain and the woman merely did not want to.
As for the little fatty…
To be exact, he was not little at all and looked to be around 16 years old. His neck and waist could not be made out and he merely resembled a water bucket that had two elephant legs as he rolled about the crowd without stopping.
His rotund face carried small beady eyes that fluttered about. In just three days, he was already one with the crowd.
“Senior brother, what about that bow and saber carrying scholar? Do you think he has a chance?” The fat child asked.
Su Zimo was curious when he heard the conversation being steered to him, intrigued to find out what the skinny child thought of him.
“That man… is a little strange. Even though he’s a scholar, he’s carrying a huge bow and saber. I suspect that there must be more to his weapons.”
Right then, a gentle ray of sun shone through the greenery.
The sun had risen.
Arranging their attire, the two children stood on either side of the stone gate with a stern expression. The skinny child spoke, “Ethereal Peak’s disciple acceptance consists of three stages. First is the Immortal Affinity Stage. There is a certain affinity required for one to attain immortality. I believe that all of you have that for being able to make it through the mist here.”
“The second stage is the Spirit Testing Stage. Those with a superior-class spirit root, Earth spirit root or Heaven spirit root will be able to make it to the third stage once they pass through this gate.”
“The third stage is called the Life and Death Stage. Those who the second stage can head up the stone steps behind me and you’ll pass once you reach the peak. But let me remind you guys, this is an extremely treacherous peak. Any misstep and you’ll fall to your death without a corpse. Please do be careful and not force yourselves.”
At that thought, everyone felt their hearts skip a beat as they all looked unnerved.
The reason why they wanted to join Ethereal Peak was because they wanted to attain immortality. If they were to lose their lives joining the sect, how could they achieve immortality?
The tip of the peak was shrouded in clouds and could not be seen.
It was clear that the path would not be that easy to climb.
The dozens of Qi Refinement Warriors present smiled, looking confident.
All of them could tread the skies with their swords. Climbing the peak posed no challenge to them at all.
Amongst the group, one of the mortals was dissident as he yelled, “How is this fair? All of those Qi Refinement Warriors can easily fly their way to the peak but we have to climb it step by step!”
One of the Qi Refinement Warriors harrumphed coldly and scoffed, “There’s nothing such as fairness in this world. If you want to speak of fairness, come to me after you achieve Qi Condensation!”
“You…!” The mortal was speechless and indignant.
The two children of the Ethereal Sect were not annoyed in the slightest as the fat one chuckled. “Everyone, you’re overthinking it. The path is definitely fair for everyone. Even Qi Refinement Warriors will not, no, may not be able to reach the peak. If they’re not careful, they’ll end up losing their lives as well!”
As though he was about to let something slip, the fat child looked flustered for a moment as he changed his statement.
Most people merely thought that the fat child had said something wrong by accident.
At that reply, many of the mortals present heaved a sigh of relief.
However, the dozens of Qi Refinement Warriors looked terrible.
They had cultivated earnestly with some of them even at Level 9 Qi Condensation. If they were to die here just because they wanted to join a sect…
Su Zimo glanced sideways.
The purple robed haughty man still had his eyes closed as though he was indifferent to what the two children had said.
The white bloused woman maintained her cold expression with an unyielding gaze that seemed to be frozen.
The little fatty among the crowd was still laughing and looking nonchalant.
“Come, the first person,” The skinny child raised his hand and indicated for the first person to enter the stone gate.
It was a Level 7 Qi Refinement Warrior.
The man was somewhat nervous as he paused before the stone gate. Bowing to the two children, he smiled and asked, “Fellow Daoists, can an ordinary spirit root work? Is there any leeway?”
The two children shook their heads.
Sighing, the man walked towards the stone gate.
The moment he reached the stone gate, a water barrier appeared across it with four shimmering lights.
Four elements – it was an ordinary spirit root!
The man tried his best to barge through the stone gate but he was blocked by the water barrier. In the blink of an eye, he was bounced back from it.
The fat child looked apologetic as he nodded to the man before raising his voice to the crowd, “Next.”