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Half a month's time had passed. A major event of the True Martial University had taken place. The university's original intention was to test the new disciples' abilities in the trials organized in the foreign battlefield. However, this trial had ended-up in the discovery of the sealed underground place where 'Star Colossus', the main offender who was responsible for the decline of the True Martial University, was imprisoned.

The nearby space had been sealed since then. It would've been possible to use transportation portals to go inside that underground world. However, the entire place had become the True Martial University's restricted zone.

It became clear from oral accounts of the disciples who had managed to come out alive that the Xuan Yuan Palace Hall had sent a faction of their disciples into the True Martial University's territory, and had slaughtered many of the True Martial University's disciples. This matter had made the entire higher authority of the True Martial University furious. They had furiously decided to launch a full-scale attack on the Xuan Yuan Palace Hall. However, later the envoy of the the Xuan Yuan Palace Hall's faction arrived to meet with the Lord of the university in private. The price they had to pay in order to quell the True Martial University's rage remained a mystery.

The strength of the True Martial University and the Xuan Yuan Palace Hall was almost the same. Moreover, the True Martial University was within their rights in this situation. Therefore, nobody would stand-on the Xuan Yuan Palace Hall's side since they had acted very cheaply.

Many forces had risen abruptly after the decline of the True Martial University. These forces had mutually divided their territories. And they could not invade each other's area of dominion. Moreover, the very core of this 'Newcomer's Trial Competition' was to determine who among these new disciples would become the pillars of the True Martial University in the future.



But the Xuan Yuan Palace Hall's disciples had slaughtered many disciples of the True Martial University. How could this not have increased their anger to the utmost?

The Xuan Yuan Palace Hall's loss was naturally greater. The mere loss of Fan Ming was equal to the overall losses of the True Martial University since such disciples were very rare to come-by. The True Martial University had lost a very few capable disciples. But the Xuan Yuan Palace's losses were much higher in this regard. Yet, people had ignored this point in its entirety. And the Xuan Yuan Palace Hall had to face the consequence of their bad deeds. They could only blame themselves for blowing-off their cover by failing to carry out this task in secrecy.

These trials were supposed to continue for years' time. But the unexpected discovery of the underground seal caused this terms' trials to end ahead of time. And everyone earned points and rewards in accordance with their performance.

The tyrannical disciples had been promoted to core disciples. Those with outstanding performance were made inner disciples. And those with average performance were made outer disciples.

Only the powerhouses of sage realm were eligible to become core disciples under normal circumstances. But Ye Xiwen was promoted to the rank of core disciple since his outstanding performance had single-handedly ruined the Xuan Yuan Palace Hall's plot.

In fact, there were some among the upper echelon who had demanded to make an exception and promote Ye Xiwen to the rank of a 'true disciple' since his contribution had been very deserving. It could be said that he had single-handedly thwarted the Xuan Yuan Palace Hall's elaborate plan. This demonstrated that his meritorious service was indeed enough. It was sufficient to make an exception and make him a true disciple.

However, a part of the higher authority collectively criticized this idea. Meritorious service was one thing, but his current strength was far insufficient to become a core disciple. Only the disciples of sage realm could be made core disciples. They were literally breaking the rule by making this exception and ranking him as a core disciple. But the proposition to make him a 'true disciple' was insane in their eyes. Only the experts of Great Sage realm could become true disciples and enjoy the distinguished treatment. The disparity in Ye Xiwen's strength when compared to theirs… was too big.

However, the most important thing was that Ye Xiwen hadn't yet displayed his full potential. This was his flaw in this regard. The disciples in the half-step legendary stage were tested to see if they could become peerless geniuses in the future, and how big their accomplishment would be. The Half-step legendary realm was to test the disciples and make a prediction about their future prospects. The more tyrannical a genius was — the farther he could walk. Ye Xiwen had merely reached the half-step legendary seventh stage. He still had to cultivate further in order to be treated as an elite disciple according to the standards of True Martial University.

A person could be considered as a 'genius worthy of investing resources into' if they could reach the half-step legendary ninth stage. Many resources would incline towards the said-individual then; but only then. The True Martial University would incline many resources towards them to help with their cultivation if one would match this criterion of university. He could then make a breakthrough into half-step legendry's great complete realm. This was done with the intention to nurture them into the future pillars of the university.

Ye Xiwen's strength had skipped levels to beat a far stronger opponent. It had attracted the attention of some higher authorities, but none paid much attention to it. After all, what kind of a genius wouldn't have the ability to display the power of higher cultivation level? Many experts had done this during the battles on the ancient road on their path of join True Martial University. Ye Xiwen's strength had indeed skipped a few levels with respect to his real cultivation level, but it wasn't impossible to achieve. Some people relied on divine tools, and some relied on various others means to achieve a considerable rise in their power. In fact, some could even achieve the same degree of rise in their power as Ye Xiwen had. Taking the help of external means to reduce the gap in levels wasn't the right path in the eyes of high-level authorities — nor did it represent that Ye Xiwen had enough potential. There was a possibility that he would get stuck at half-step legendary seventh stage forever. Then, his future achievements would be negligible since the pinnacle of Great Sage realm would be out of his reach.

There could be a verifiable possibility of stepping into the Great Sage realm once he made a breakthrough to half-step legendary ninth stage. Moreover, one could get a hint of a person's future potential in the half-step legendary realm. It couldn't be guaranteed that the future would be the same as anticipated since every person had their own fortuitous encounters to credit. However, these guesses turned out to be accurate most of the times.

Ye Xiwen had made a great meritorious service. However, many high-level authorities believed that he hadn't displayed enough potential. It wouldn't be appropriate in their opinion if he would be hastily promoted to the rank of a 'true disciple'.

The high-level experts of Law enforcement hall had especially made every effort to prevent his promotion. Eventually the topic to make Ye Xiwen a 'true disciple' had been left unsettled.

Of course, these were just gossips. Different people had different opinions on the matter. No one knew what the higher authorities had discussed. However, Ye Xiwen's fame sky-rocketed after the news spread out.

His reputation had risen steeply inside True Martial University; it had come to rival the fame of those genuine disciples who were called 'heaven's pride'.

"Ha ha, I am really happy. Ye Xiwen didn't have big reputation before. However, he killed a formidable expert of the Xuan Yuan Palace Hall. The Xuan Yuan Palace Hall's plan backfired this time, and they've suffered a huge loss. They have no choice but to swallow their pride and bear it!"

"Indeed, the Xuan Yuan Palace Hall had made an elaborate plot. All the disciples of the True Martial University may have perished if Ye Xiwen had been there!"

"Fan Ming was used as a stepping stone. It has raised our True Martial University reputation. We now have two formidable geniuses of the 'heaven's pride' level. First one is that 'Sword Sage' who has established the 'Sword Tomb' ground. He made a breakthrough into half-step legendry's great complete realm to enter the level of the 'heaven's pride'!

"And the second one is that Ye Xiwen; he is clearly a monster. Fan Ming had an illustrious reputation inside the Xuan Yuan Palace Hall. He was a prominent disciple of the 'heaven's pride' level. But even he died at Ye Xiwen's hands. I can tell that Ye Xiwen will have boundless future prospects!"

"We have disciples like the 'Titan body' guy, the one with Heavenly Phoenix body, Han Bin Wang, honorable Senior Guang Ming, Qin Wang, Huangjin Shi, Sword Sage, and Ye Xiwen. There are a total of eight 'heaven's pride' disciples, and they all possess the strength of half-step legendry's great complete realm. There has never been this many in the previous generations!" (1)

"It is too early to say that. Ye Xiwen's fighting strength is equal to half-step legendry's great complete realm. It is astonishing, but his future is uncertain. What will be the use of his present strength if he fails to make a breakthrough into the half-step legendry's great complete realm? His strength is comparable to that of those other experts of the 'heaven's pride' level… but what will happen if he fails to make further breakthroughs? The gap will only widen in the future. Then, he'll end-up becoming a laughing stock!"

Some people were discontented with the sudden rise in Ye Xiwen's reputation. So, they mocked his name around.

Ye Xiwen didn't care about the ups-and-downs because he was too busy with something else. Countless people had challenged him in the days following his rise to fame. The other members of the well-known 'eight peak experts', who were called 'heaven's pride', were confirmed to have reached the half-step legendry's great complete realm. Moreover, they could even challenge people above their own level. They would only find trouble if they would come across an expert of semi-sage realm. But they were unmatched in their level.

Consequently, everyone knew that they couldn't go to them asking for trouble. However, Ye Xiwen was the exception. He had been designated the title of 'heaven's pride'. But, he was only at half-step legendary seventh stage. There were many new disciples with the same strength. And many people couldn't bear the sudden rise of his fame. In fact, there were many who believed that he didn't deserve this fame.

These people were top-geniuses of their regions. They were okay with disciples of half-step legendry's great complete realm being called 'heaven's pride'. But, they couldn't accept that someone like Ye Xiwen had obtained the same title. Who was he in front of them? He wasn't even that famous earlier. How did he become so famous suddenly?

Ye Xiwen had risen to fame because he had killed Fan Ming. The man used to be a 'heaven's pride' level disciple of the Xuan Yuan Palace Hall. However, everyone thought that Ye Xiwen had grabbed a cheap bargain because Fan Ming had been injured by the Sword Sage.

Ye Xiwen didn't have any outstanding abilities in their eyes. He was no big deal.

It was hard for them to accept this fact. Many people thought that they could surpass Ye Xiwen. They wanted to use him as their stepping stone. However, how he could allow them to succeed that easily? He was no pushover to begin with. He tidied-up about a dozen elites who boasted illustrious reputation in order to scare the others off. In fact, he had wiped the floor with these elites.

The experts who had posed as so-called elite geniuses weren't even able to withstand a single move of Ye Xiwen's.

More than a dozen people of half-step legendary ninth stage were unable to stop Ye Xiwen's one move. Their strength was marginally lower than that of Luo Yi Hang and Sword Sage. However, they hadn't been able to withstand even a single move of his. This had frightened everyone.

Ye Xiwen got several days of peace after this incident.

Ye Xiwen didn't pay any little attention towards those rumors and slanders. In fact, he wouldn't have bothered to engage them if not to deter and scare-off the others.

Ye Xiwen had a desire to fight with experts from all over the world, but only if the enemy would be a top-tier powerhouse. He had no interest in fighting average experts.

However, he wasn't disturbed after this incident. He might not have great fighting strength like those other 'heaven's pride' title holders. But, he could easily tidy the rest of them up. Everyone had come to understand this clearly.

Ye Xiwen didn't care about the rumors. He continued to refine that Star Colossus into a blood slave.

Ye Xiwen's overall strength had at-most reached the half-step legendry's great complete realm. And his real cultivation was at half-step legendary seventh stage. The refining process of this Star Colossus went far beyond the scope of his present cultivation level.

(To be continued)

Notes:

Han Bing Wang = Cold Ice King

Da Guang Ming = Great Radiance

Huangjin Shi = Golden Lion

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