The Xuantian Monastery's disciples had all gathered at the Xuantian plaza. That was because today, all the core disciples would be sent to the supermonastery to enter the Jiuli secret realm.
Although only the core disciples could enter, that didn't reduce the other disciples' enthusiasm.
Long Chen, Tang Wan-er, Ye Zhiqiu, and all the other core disciples were standing at the front. Just looking at them filled the other disciples with excitement.
The Jiuli secret realm was said to be a space left behind from the ancient era. There were countless opportunities within it, and natural treasures were everywhere. It only opened once every hundred years.
Ling Yun-zi was leading a group of Elders. Looking at the flourishing disciples, he was filled with pride.
Under Long Chen's guidance, the monastery's disciples were now elites amongst elites. Their inner disciples were now not much weaker than their ordinary core disciples of years past.
As for Gu Yang and the other core disciples, their power went without saying. They were even comparable to Favored.
And of course, the most gratifying thing for Ling Yun-zi was that they had existences like Long Chen, Wilde, and Tang Wan-er amongst them. That filled him with confidence for the Jiuli secret realm
"Are you all prepared?" Ling Yun-zi looked at the inspired disciples.
In all of his memories, he didn't remember Long Chen ever appearing so excited. Long Chen was normally like a calm, rippleless well.
Although Long Chen was doing his best to suppress his excitement, that light in his eyes completely sold him out.
Only Long Chen knew that his excitement was because there was something within the Jiuli secret realm that seemed to be summoning him. That feeling was becoming stronger and stronger.
"We're ready!" responded all the core disciples.
Ling Yun-zi didn't waste any time on useless words. He knew that any words were useless to these disciples who had toed the line between life and death. Why would he bother wasting his time?
"Senior apprentice-brothers and senior apprentice-sisters will definitely return in triumph!" The other disciples all cried out their goodbyes.
Long Chen felt his body move suddenly, and before he knew it, he was in the rear mountains of the monastery. There was a stone platform around a hundred meters wide here. Atop the stone platform were dozens of pillars that had countless ancient runes carved onto them. This was the monastery's transportation formation.
Ling Yun-zi brought them on top of it. Touching the stone pillar in the center, all the various stone pillars' runes lit up.
Everyone immediately felt their bodies tighten. They felt a terrifying pressure squeeze them, and space was beginning to twist.
"Don't be afraid. This is the spatial power of the transportation formation. After adapting for a moment, you'll be fine." Ling Yun-zi smiled and consoled everyone when they saw their fear.
Space was constantly twisting, and it was if they had entered water. Their surroundings were no longer clear.
"Our 108th monastery is comparatively poor, and we could only construct the lowest grade transportation formation. That's why it takes so long."
Ling Yun-zi explained that transportation formations were split into different grades. These grades were differentiated by two characteristics: the transportation distance as well as the speed and stability of the transportation.
The monastery was over a million miles from the supermonastery. A better transportation formation would only need a single breath's time.
If it was a peak transportation formation like the first monastery, then it was practically instant. But their 108th monastery's transportation formation was the lowest grade in order to save on the huge amount of resources used for each activation.
However, the shortcomings were extremely obvious. Not only did it require an incense stick of time, but during the transportation process, space was extremely unsteady, causing everyone who used it to feel a very harsh spatial pressure. Ordinary disciples were unable to bear that kind of pressure. Even core disciples like Gu Yang would feel uncomfortable under that pressure.
However, after just a couple breaths of unpleasantness, the core disciples did adapt and felt much better.
Once everyone had become accustomed, Ling Yun-zi turned to Long Chen gravely. "Long Chen, this time, you must be absolutely careful within the Jiuli secret realm. Of all of you, you're the one I worry about the most."
That startled everyone, with only Long Chen nodding his head in comprehension.
However, the others didn't understand. Long Chen was the strongest of all of them. Even if they all joined hands, they wouldn't necessarily be able to defeat Long Chen. Why would the sect leader worry most about him?
"You all might not know about this, but I've heard that the Corrupt path has already placed Long Chen on their must-kill list. He is ranked only second to the first monastery's Han Tianyu."
The Corrupt path was extremely powerful, with many sects. Last time, Long Chen had defeated their number one genius in this region, Yin Luo. That had shaken the entire Corrupt path.
After their investigation, they had decided to place Long Chen on the must-kill list. That must-kill list was all the greatest geniuses of the Righteous path. They gave them a ranking according to their threat level.
It was said that the Corrupt path's must-kill list only had a hundred people, and they were normally all Chosen or extremely powerful Favored. The person ranked number one was the first monastery's number one Chosen, Han Tianyu.
Ling Yun-zi hadn't been shocked that Long Chen had ended up on the must-kill list. But he was shocked when he had heard that Long Chen had been ranked number two.
In this world, only he and Tu Fang knew that Long Chen was a Divergent. Others didn't know Long Chen's true potential.
That proved that the Corrupt path's vision was far more incisive and sinister than the Righteous path's. They had immediately seen that Long Chen posed a greater threat to them than even Chosen.
That had completely infuriated Ling Yun-zi. Even the Corrupt viewed Long Chen so importantly. Were their supermonastery's higher-ups all blind?
Hearing that, everyone was started. Since Long Chen was on the Corrupt path's must-kill list, then once he entered the Jiuli secret realm, wouldn't he chased down by countless Corrupt disciples?
"Long Chen, with your power, other than the top experts like Yin Luo, you should be able to fight back.
"But the secret realm stays open for a full year. Inside the secret realm, there is a primordial aura that comes from the ancient era which is extremely suitable for cultivation.
"Not only will there be countless opportunities in the secret realm, it is also extremely beneficial to your cultivation. It is much easier to break through inside.
"Each time the secret realm opens, the majority of disciples will have reached the Bone Forging realm by the time they leave. So you absolutely cannot look down on the Jiuli secret realm.
"I heard that eighteen hundred years ago, a member of the Corrupt path didn't bother searching for treasures when he entered, instead focusing on a rapid break through.
"In just a month, he advanced to the Bone Forging realm. With his cultivation base's superiority, he crazily slaughtered the Righteous disciples.
"In that generation, the Righteous path suffered a huge loss, and over half of those talented disciples were killed by him." Ling Yun-zi was extremely grave.
"How vicious!" Hearing that made their hearts shake. He had killed over half the Righteous path's disciples! Those weren't just ordinary disciples, but core disciples! Some of them also had to be Favored and Chosen.
"That's why you have to focus on safety above all else in the secret realm. Even if there is a heaven-defying opportunity in front of you, if you don't have enough strength, it will still be taken by others. And the most infuriating thing is that you not only have to be on guard against the Corrupt path's disciples attacking you, but you have to be even more on guard against the Righteous path's disciples' sneak attacks. Those are the most terrifying," explained Ling Yun-zi.
Other than Long Chen, the other core disciples were startled. Obviously they hadn't expected that they not only had to defend against powerful enemies, but also their own 'comrades'.
"There's nothing strange about this. The Righteous path's people are all most skilled in internal strife. They don't dare truly fight against the Corrupt path, but when it comes to handling their own people, they are absolute experts.
"In this world, everyone is selfish. People spend all day scheming and plotting. You scheme against me, I scheme against you. Every disciple in the same sect tries to suppress his peers.
"Otherwise, with how powerful the Righteous path is, how could they still have failed to suppress the Corrupt path after all these years? Other than causing trouble for their own people, the Righteous path doesn't have much else in the way of skills." Long Chen was extremely calm.
Ling Yun-zi was helpless about this. Long Chen was completely correct. Although the Corrupt path was heartless and vicious, when it came to working together against common enemies, they were much, much better than the Righteous path.
The supermonsatery had a total of 108 monasteries. There were many cases of those monasteries suppressing and backstabbing each other. Although those cases were 'rare' when it came to out-in-the-open fights, who knew just how many despicable behind-the-scene schemes there were going on?
Their failure to obtain a Chosen position for Long Chen was an excellent example. The Corrupt path had ranked Long Chen number two on their must-kill list. Was it possible that the higher-ups of the supermonastery were unable to see that?
In truth, they had all seen that. But because it involved a few people's selfish interests, those authorities acted as if they didn't know about it. As for others who were well aware of it, they could only act as if they were blind as well in order to avoid offending those in power.
That was the Righteous path's unwritten rules. That was a hierarchy that could not be more rotten even if they tried. Each of them was selfish, only handling their own problems. Who would help you out in times of trouble?
Of course, if that trouble was actually a golden opportunity or treasure, then with the Righteous path's selfishness, an incredible number of people would come to try and snatch it from you.
Furthermore, for their own interests, they were willing to use whatever despicable, shady methods they could. That really made people sigh. If you simply focused that kind of enthusiasm on fighting the Corrupt path, wouldn't the Corrupt path have been long since exterminated?
But there were always those 'smart people' in the Righteous path who did anything they could to gain a higher position. They constantly thought about how they could suppress people on the same side as them so they could rise higher.
Just thinking of that made people downhearted. But people were helpless. Unless you decided to become an ordinary person again, as a cultivator, you had to face this.
Ling Yun-zi had long since understood the rottenness of the Righteous path. But he had no way to fix it.
Not only had he had no way of changing the hypocritical side of the 'Righteous' path, but he had also almost lost himself in that struggle. If Long Chen hadn't appeared, he would have forever lost his way.
Ling Yun-zi had now understood that he was only a cultivator. There was no need for him to try and change others. So now, he would do whatever he wanted to do. Why bother caring about the consequences so much?
"Once you enter the secret realm, don't easily trust anyone, especially those 'comrades' who smile to your face while hiding a knife. You must be careful." Long Chen solemnly warned everyone.
Those enemies you could see coming at you weren't dangerous. The real dangers were ones you didn't see coming.
Although Tang Wan-er and the others were powerful and he didn't worry too much about them facing off against the Corrupt path's disciples, Long Chen was extremely worried about them being stabbed in the back.
That was also why he said Gu Yang's defeat to that Favored from the thirty-sixth monastery wasn't a bad thing. That could be said to be a lesson for everyone.
Suddenly, the space around them trembled, and their feet stepped down onto a simple brick path.