The twenty deacons entered Demon Sinister Forest along with the hundred and sixty candidates.
Every candidate was given a jade disc. It was the Contribution Jade Disc, its name was derived from its function which was used to record the contribution points.
The contribution points could not only be used to exchange for cultivation techniques, magical treasure and dans, but also to promote one’s position.
There was a glittering ‘five’ on the jade disc. It meant that every candidate who was present here had been awarded with five points from the first examination.
Furthermore, only the disciples of Sinister Sparrow Sect could hold the Contribution Jade Disc. These group of candidates were considered outer disciples when they entered the Demon Sinister Forest. Thus, they had the qualification for that.
If they died in the forest, their identity as a disciple would be lost. They would only become an official disciple of the sect after staying alive for a month in the forest.
The forest was divided into nine regions. The year when Sinister Sparrow Sect was established, the peak Gold Core ancestor of Sinister Sparrow explored the Demon Sinister Forest but stopped at the fourth region because he was injured by a Nascent Soul ghost king. Thus, Demon Sinister Forest had become a forbidden place of Sinister Sparrow Sect.
Clearly, this forest didn’t contain Dark Yin Qi but there were many things that were unknown. The ancestor of Sinister Sparrow only had the detailed information until the fourth region because he knew there would only be danger after that region.
The only fortunate thing about the ghosts in Demon Sinister Forest was that they were restricted to leave the forest. They would disintegrate and vanish the moment they leave the forest. Furthermore, every region in the forest was limited and categorized by their cultivation grade.
When the corpses of enemies were left outside the forest, it wouldn’t take several years for them to become ghosts. And this was inexplicably strange.
There was a saying in Truth Cultivation, ‘the more evil the mountain, the better the chances of getting the secret of immortals.’ Half of the forest should have some kind of heaven defying secret.
The second examination venue was in the first region of the forest. The candidates could move freely within thirty miles radius.
They were allowed to fight, kill, hunt and harvest. And it was also permitted to hide in one place for a month without doing any of those things.
The road of evil cultivation was full of hardships and dangers. One needed bravery and persistence in order to improve. One could hide for a month but not for life. As such, one should confront the danger head on.
In the first region, there were ghosts of Vein Opening. Killing any of them would give the candidate some points. Killing a ghost below level three Vein Opening would gain them one point. As for level four to six Vein Opening ghosts, they would get two points, and for level seven to ten, they would get ten points.
The level of difficulty increased as the cultivation of the ghosts got higher and, obviously, the reward would also be higher. An early Harmonious Spirit ghost was worth a hundred points, an intermediate Harmonious Spirit ghost was worth two hundred, a late Harmonious Spirit ghost was worth five hundred points and lastly, a peak Harmonious Spirit ghost would be worth a thousand points.
However, one had to enter the second region in order to find Harmonious Spirit ghosts. Of course, it wasn’t a place where the new candidates could enter. Even the Harmonious Spirit elders would need to be extra careful when they enter the second region.
Aside from the fact that hunting ghosts would bring them points, the candidates would also be able to learn how to survive and most importantly, be competitive.
Well, if you were afraid of danger, you could choose to harvest some herbs. The first region was grown with many herbs of mostly ten years old. Normally, only twelve kilograms of it could be exchanged for one point.
Due to the entrance examination happening every ten years, the young herbs wasn’t worth a lot.
Besides those ways of getting points, one could also use a more direct way—rob.
Once the person robbed the other person’s Contribution Jade Disc and destroyed it, the points would be transferred to him automatically.
As for the victim who’s disc had been robbed, he could purchase another one for ten immortal jades, which was quite cheap, but he had to accumulate his contribution points again.
The moment they entered the forest, they all scattered around. Most of them chose to go alone, while some had allied with their friends. As for the twenty deacons, they hid in an unnoticeable place to monitor the candidates’ movements. They wouldn’t interfere unless the situation became really critical.
The examination would last for a month, but if someone left the forest within that time frame. He would automatically be disqualified and lose the identity of being a disciple of the sect.
The atmosphere in the first region of Demon Sinister Forest was damp, dull and dark. Some of them could feel that some ghosts were staring at them.
Ning Fan groaned while holding the black jade disc. He was reading the ancient map gifted by Lan Mei. There were nine regions on the map. Three regions were dotted with the location of herbs and danger, but only half of the fourth region was dotted. It must be where the ancestor of Sinister Sparrow Sect had been injured, so he stopped exploring any further.
There must be ghosts that were even more terrifying than the ghost king after the fourth region.
“I didn’t expect that this forest would be so unusual. I wonder what is hidden in its deeper regions.”
A signal was sent out of the Yin Yang Locket in Ning Fan’s dantian, as if the locket had noticed something interesting in this forest.
It was unlikely to be Dark Yin Qi but it might be many times greater than the Dark Yin Qi.
Ning Fan pondered on the possibilities. With his current strength, it wasn’t a problem for him to dominate the first and second region, if he was careful enough. He could even pass through the third region by being invisible. However in the fourth region, he would surely send himself to hell because there was a Nascent Soul ghost king there.
Fortunately, Lan Mei had given him the map, or else he would probably go in these dangerous or unexplored regions to find something out, given his excessive curiosity. When that happens, he wouldn’t know how he died.
Of the hundred and sixty candidates, none of them dared to work together with Ning Fan after knowing his true identity. There were some females eyeing him, hoping to marry a man with such a great background. But the thing was that he wasn’t interested in these women even if they volunteered themselves, the thing that he didn’t need to worry about was the possession of beauty.
While talking about this, there were still seventeen delicately pretty evil women waiting to be plucked by him.
As he was immersed in his contemplation, he unknowingly walked deeper into the region. On the way, he had found ten-year-old herbs but they didn’t caught his eyes. He continued to walk further and some level one and two Vein Opening ghosts sneaked attacked him.
Ning Fan only had to make a slash at these ghosts with his Separation Slayer. In about half an incense stick time, fifteen ghosts were killed and his contribution points had reached twenty.
As he killed the fifteenth ghost, Ning Fan’s eyes sparkled as he saw a fingernail-sized soul bead materializing in the dust of the ghosts.
Soul bead was illusory but it had spirit sense. Ning Fan muttered something and consumed it. A while later, he was amazed. The soul bead had strengthened his spirit sense by a little.
“‘Sense Bead’! Only ghosts that have cultivated on the Nine Yin Land would contain such a thing after being killed. Could this Demon Sinister Forest be the Nine Yin Land?”
Ning Fan couldn’t defy the truth. Nine Yin Land wasn’t a natural terrain. It was a formation that was even higher than ‘void’ grand formation. This formation had nine separate regions. Could this be the method that the ancient devil’s used to raise ghosts? Was this Demon Sinister Forest a formation that was set in order for the devils to obtain Sense Beads?
‘If this is really true, could there be an inheritance of the devils in the deepest region of this forest? Now, I can hunt the ghosts for Sense Beads that can enhance my spirit sense.’
“Then I shouldn’t stay here leisurely. How can I let any of these precious ghost go? I would start my hunt here in the first region!”
Ning Fan’s eyes moved. He smiled slightly as his legs stepped onto an icy light. Starlight Sword Shadow was in his hand. Then, an icy rainbow was seen extending through the dark and cold forest, killing every ghost present.
In the Merit Hall of the Sinister Sparrow Sect, an elder who was in charge of the hall was currently yawning indolently. He was Elder Meng Chu.
Laziness was one of his natural dispositions. He was an intermediate Harmonious Spirit elder but chose a most task-free and leisure job—guarding the Merit Hall.
Merit Hall was the place where the disciples would exchange their contribution for treasures.
A forty-two meters black jade monument was erected at the centre of the hall. On the luminous spot was the record of accumulated contribution points of every disciple and elder of the sect; it would be constantly updated.
The first from the ranking was naturally the master of the sect—Sinister Sparrow. He had accumulated 9, 610, 000 contribution points and with several more figures at the end.
The second in the ranking was one of the Four Honour Devils in Sinister Sparrow Sect—‘Weep Honour’—his full name was Ling Guiku. He had left Sinister Sparrow Sect seventy years ago, it was unknown whether he is still alive. However, his accumulated contribution points would increase at random times. Every increase was over ten thousand points. The major factor for getting over ten thousand points would be killing a late Gold Core righteous expert or an even stronger righteous expert. When he left the sect, his accumulated points was 720,000 but now it had increased to 8,450,000. No one knew how many righteous experts he had killed and what righteous experts he was targeting. Most importantly, his whereabouts was still unknown.
Many had guessed that Ling Guiku had broken through to the Nascent Soul realm after seventy years.
The third in the ranking was Old Devil Han. His accumulated contribution points was 6,830,000. Most of the contribution points were obtained through concocting dans; thousands of contribution points could be obtained if a single Third Revolution dan was successfully concocted.
The first twenty in the ranking was almost occupied by the elders. The younger disciples who had the highest contribution point was the follower of Black Honour—Yan Zhuiyun. He was outstanding among the young generations with exceptional aptitude. He had broken through to the intermediate Harmonious Spirit realm at thirty years old and became an elder.
However, his contribution wasn’t exceedingly high, it was merely 190,000, which was ranked forty five.
As for the indolent Elder Meng Chu, he would only obtain a hundred contribution points for guarding the Merit Hall each month. He had only accumulated 240, 000 contribution points over two hundred years and was ranked number forty one now.
“Today is the second examination of the candidates. Ai…I have no idea whether any one of them can hit a hundred contribution points in a month. Hehe… In fact, a hundred contribution point is already too difficult for them. A few hundred years ago, when I joined this sect, I only killed seven Vein Opening ghosts and harvested two thousand and four hundred kilograms of herbs; I only managed to obtain fifteen contribution points. Even the brightest disciple, Yan Zhuiyun had only obtained a hundred and seventy points in the second examination.
He laid on his deck chair while his eyes swept across the contribution ranking that had thousands of names listed on it.
There were tens of thousands of Vein Opening disciples in the sect and the ones who had just joined started from zero. Automatically, they were at the bottom of the list.
“Hehe…Still at five points? The second examination has started for two hours. These bunch of brats are undeniably weak. They can’t even kill a ghost? *Cough* *Cough* *Cough* Wait, this is?!”
While Elder Meng Chu was tasting his favourite tea, he was suddenly caught off guard by the latest update on the contribution ranking and gulped in the rest of the tea, almost swallowing the entire cup.
He was surprised to see the nine contribution points on Li Zhi Huan’s name.
“Nine contribution points in two hours? This brat has killed four Vein Opening ghosts? How is this possible?”
His eyes then moved upwards. He was surprised once more by a disciple named Lu Zhi Qiao. In two hours’ time, he had accumulated seventeen points!
This brat’s points suddenly increased by ten. Ten contribution points would require him to kill at least a Level seven Vein Opening ghost.
‘Is this disciple, Lu Zhi Qiao, really able to kill a level seven Vein Opening ghost? He must be a genius. I’m afraid that he is greater than Yan Zhuiyun!’
Meng Chu suddenly stood up. He realized that he needed to report this to the higher-ups; he had another task other than guarding the hall, which was to select new disciples with high contribution points within a short period of time. These disciples would obviously have an amazing talent that was worth nurturing.
As he was about to leave, he turned abruptly, trying to catch a glimpse of the new updates again to make sure that he didn’t see it wrongly.
This time, it fastened his breathing. He could feel that his heart was about to come out of his mouth.
It was a disciple named ‘Ning Fan.’ The growth of his contribution points was astronomical.
This brat had accumulated 754 points in just two hours’ time. What did he do in Demon Sinister Forest?
He was a monstrous disciple! Meng Chu admitted that this would also be the speed that he would get if he were to hunt in the forest.
“Ning Fan, it is Ning Fan! I have to report this to the master.”
Meng Chu was never really interested with other matters aside from the Merit Hall, so he naturally didn’t know about Ning Fan’s true identity. Even if he knew it, it was merely a strong background not talent.
In fact, this was merely the beginning. It was an absolute heaven defying mistake for letting Ning Fan enter Demon Sinister Forest as a new disciple.
The Merit Monument was going to burst with points!
Certain name of skills will be italicized. Some terms are subject to change when better suggestions are selected.