Filial piety, fraternal duty, loyalty, trust, rite, justice, honesty, and shame?
Seeing these eight characters, the people present could not help but gawk. Even those who were relatively weak in learning knew that these eight characters were spread by the Sage of Eight Virtues thousands of years ago in the whole Nine Regions, which was simply known as the Eight Virtues. However, now the words of the Sage of Eight Virtues actually appeared here… could it be that the master of this tomb was the Sage of Eight Virtues?
That’s seemed unlikely? No one has ever heard that the sage was a sword cultivator...
Then what about the eight gates? Must they find the most important gate in order to enter the next level? However, these eight gates were all the same… Or would they need to just choose one, as long as they were confident in their choice?
While many of the cultivators were in doubt, that stiff and indifferent monotone voice once again sounded in the minds of everyone.
"The mantle of the sword tomb master would not be passed on casually, the successor ought to have good virtues. However, virtues change over time; whether it’s because of power or rebellion; peace and prosperity where people become warm and respectful, the world in chaos because of fire of war where people eat each other’s child. I don’t know what would happen years into the future and what would be the morale of the time, but I do know that no matter how relative the morale is, they can be placed next to the eight paths set by the Sage of the Eight Virtues. Whoever passes the test inside the most is the winner, and those who win pass the level."
Whoever passes the test inside the most is the winner, and those who win pass the level?
The amount of information in this paragraph was quite large, and the most important part was the last two sentences… Eight stone gates, eight virtues; whoever can pass the test the most passes the level. Immediately, everyone fell into silence, deep in thought.
After a while, Hai Yunfan of Ten Thousand Arts Sect shook his head and then sighed in admiration. "What a shrewd senior; unexpectedly, the knockout competition really grasp the will of the master."
Wang Lu said with a smile, "Yes. It also grasps the key of the morale—by comparing who is the most virtuous. Those who were able to enter this ancient sword tomb and arrive at this level, no matter it’s in the past or now, would inevitably be the elites of their time. Which means that the moral standard would not be too far apart. With this competition mechanism, the tomb could choose those who have relatively higher personal character easier."
Hai Yunfan said, "Yes. Perhaps in some turbulent times, society in total disarray, people’s heart become sinister, and the world does not have a saint, but as long as you have a trace of virtue a bit more than everyone around you, that would be enough… This is a really good social problem, and worthy of study."
One by one, the cultivators of Ten Thousand Arts Sect nodded their head. Including Ye Feifei, Zhao Jiangyuan, and the others. All of them were eager to try, wishing that they could look at the ancient text to establish a model.
Jianglu of Shengjing Sect couldn’t stand watching anymore; he coldly humphed. "Is this the time to admire it? The winner will pass the test, which means the loser will not pass the test. But how many winners on this test? One? Two? And how many people are here now? Thirty? Forty?"
Zhou Mumu also said, "This level is really baffling, why must the tomb master design such a competition mechanism? Does it want a certain type of people eliminated?"
Upon hearing this remark, the atmosphere suddenly became stiff.
Zhou Mumu has a straightforward temperament; she unintentionally pointed out the sensitive topic.
The four sects, after all, were not of single mind. They just established a temporary cooperative relationship because of their struggle against the Guardian. However, this sword tomb's stone inscription only let those who passed the test the most pas the level, which put their cooperation in a precarious condition.
Some would win, and some would lose, therefore, after this level, some people would likely be eliminated. That being the case, what would they need to cooperate about?
After a while, Jianglu inwardly made a decision, and then coldly said, "Humph, might as well. In any case, in the end, some people would be eliminated."
Zhan Ziye argued, "That’s not necessarily. There are eight gates here, and we have forty people here. With a simple division, as long as each person obtain two virtues, wouldn’t everyone pass the level together?"
Jianglu mockingly said, "Your Ten Thousand Arts Sect always boast yourself as being smart, but how could you say something stupid like that? If average distribution of virtues can make us pass the level, aren’t we all on average have the same amount of virtue? Each side holds zero virtue, but why don’t I see the entrance to the next level?"
Zhan Ziye was speechless.
Jianglu’s countenance turned serious as he said with a sinking voice, "This ancient sword tomb inheritance path is not a gentle and amiable children’s house-play. In this sword tomb, from the second level onward, murderous intention are everywhere. And just now, we were nearly annihilated by the Guardian! After all of these, can’t you see how our situation is? To continue forward, we need to cut our way through thistles and thorns even if we are badly bruised, and even so much that our lives perish! This Sage of Eight Virtues level inevitably demands us to strive, to fight like how those barbarians raise their poisonous insects, trampling on each other’s corpse to victory!"
This theory was indeed very persuasive. however, there were many people who disagree. Ye Feifei couldn’t help but want to argue.
However, before she could open her mouth, Wang Lu faintly said, "We have yet to enter the gate, is there any use in debating outside the gate? Before we know what kind of test inside that was set up by the owner of the tomb, no one’s words will amount to anything. Moreover, do we four sects have to kill each other on the doorway just because of the words of the master of the tomb and inscription on the stone gates? Don’t you guys think that’s really silly? At least we need to go inside and have look first."
Jianglu cast Wang Lu a glance, nodded and said, "Correct. Now we only know that those who pass the test the most win, but the specific rules are still blurred, so we should advance first before we talk about it again. There are eight tests behind these eight gates, so why don’t we start with the first one?"
Then, Jianglu reached out and pointed at the filial piety gate.
Wang Lu said, "Of all virtues, filial piety is most important, I don’t know which filial son or worthy grandson is willing to pass through the gate to have a look together with me?"
The scene briefly froze for a while; everybody would naturally not want to be his son or grandson, so no one answered his question. Jianglu coldly humphed. "We have no knowledge of the situation behind the gate, so there’s no need for everyone to go in. I suggest that each sect sends out a third of their members, while the rest remain here."
Wang Lu was the first to agree. "I have no objection."
Seeing Wang Lu’s position, Ten Thousand Arts people pondered for a moment and then agreed. Although Zhou Mumu still has some doubts, in the end, she could only agree along with the others.
"Good, then let’s choose each of our people." Jianglu said, turned around and addressed his assistants, the twin brother and sister of Wangyue, "Luanyu, Luanyun, you two form a team and led them in to see the situation. If anything happens, maintaining everyone’s lives is your first priority."
The two siblings said yes in unison, and then selected six of their people to form a team. According to the one-third ratio, there should be eight people from Shengjing Sect.
For Kunlun Immortal Mountain, it was Zhou Mumu and one who has a middle-aged appearance. As for Ten Thousand Arts Sect, it was Hai Yunfan and Ye Feifei.
According to the proposed proportion, Spirit Sword Sect should only send one of their people. However, Wang Lu directly reached out and pointed at Liu Li, indicating that it was the two of them that would participate. Jianglu looked at the remaining Bai Shixuan, and didn’t say anything.
In terms of total power, Spirit Sword Sect was, after all, the weakest. Therefore, adding one or not would not affect the overall situation. And Shengjing Sect, whether it was their inner court or outer court disciples, they have a tough method to suppress all strength. Moreover, from a different perspective, leaving Bai Shixuan here alone was also good for Shengjing Sect.
Although Bai Shixuan has amazing magical abilities, she wasn’t a fighter. Though her magical power far surpassed that of any people present, in a real fight, Jianglu was confident that he could subdue her in just three moves. Therefore, leaving her here as some kind of secret hostage was also good.
"Good, since everyone is ready, let’s open the gate."
A long delay usually meant many problems, therefore, Jianglu immediately urged.
Other people didn’t slack either as they directly went towards the filial piety gate. Along the way, Hai Yunfan and Wang Lu caught a glimpse of each other’s eyes, and then, as if by prior agreement, they smiled.
The alliance treaty that was signed up between the two sects a few days ago would finally come into play.
Actually, what Jianglu said a few moments ago was right. Each level on this ancient sword tomb inheritance test appeared cold and heartless, and perhaps it was really intended to be like how the poisonous insect was raised, by letting the participants fight to the bitter end in order to find the sole winner.
However, everyone ought to have already known about this, so why bother putting it out in the open? Shengjing Sect team was big, and any of the three sects was not its match. Therefore, forced by the situation, the three sects would inevitably join hands.
What Shengjing Sect relied on was nothing but being driven by the environment. However, if any of the three sects wanted to conspire against each other, they would not be able to collaborate sincerely—and the fact of the matter was, from historical point of view, the vast majority of united weaker parties against a single powerful opponent cases ended up in the victory for the single powerful opponent. Without the pressure from the strong opponent, the weaker parties would end up squabbling amongst themselves; they would rather jeopardize their common goals than give up the temporary benefits. This happened most of the time in history. Perhaps there would be bystanders who sighed and lamented about how could these people be so stupid? The fact was, they were that stupid!
However, this time, Jianglu miscalculated. Because the cooperation between Spirit Sword Sect and Ten Thousand Arts Sect was solid enough. There was no infighting because, from the beginning, Hai Yunfan had long made up his mind to heed on Wang Lu’s instructions from the beginning to the end—there would absolutely no second thoughts.
The importance of the alliance treaty was manifested several days ago, and the most important of which was that the ultimate benefit would be divided according to the contribution of the respective party. Which meant that even if one went down and only one party reached the end and got all of the benefits, but according to the treaty, the winning party must share the benefit with the party that previously fell. If the treasure were difficult to allocate, then the sect would make up for it.
Therefore, Hai Yunfan didn’t mind even if he couldn’t reach the end. Naturally, it would be good if the Ten Thousand Arts Sect could pass through, but if not, fully cooperating with Wang Lu in his quest for victory and then wait for their share was also a good choice. As far as the current situation was concerned, the best option for the Ten Thousand Arts Sect was to trust in Wang Lu’s judgment.
No matter how much controversy he had, Wang Lu had never renegade on a treaty or a promise. On the contrary, once he made a promise, he would be extremely committed to it, and he would always take care of those on his side. In fact, in Hai Yunfan’s view, among the eight virtues, Wang Lu had already got fraternal duty and justice, two virtues. It was just that in this sword tomb test, it would not be easy to win those virtues...
Before long, they came to the gate. That stone gate rumbled as it opened itself, exposing a deep, bottomless dark passage.
"I’ll go first."
Wang Lu lifted up the Sword of Mount Kun, and Non-Phase Sword light bloomed as he went in first.
Wangyue Luanyu and Luanyun of Shengjing Sect hesitated a bit, but did not try to stop Wang Lu. After all, behind the gate, no one knew what kind of magical test of heart that was put in it… Since Wang Lu was willing to act as a pioneer, and his Non-Phase Sword was also known for its defense, letting him be the pathfinder was also good.
After Wang Lu was Liu Li, then Shengjing Sect people, Kunlun Immortal Sect people, and finally Ten Thousand Arts Sect people. After these row of people entered the gate, the thick stone door slowly closed, covering the dark passage.
This also broke the connection between inside and outside.
However, all of them were not surprised. Inside the passage, Wang Lu led the way, however, after walking for a moment, there was neither a Guardian nor insidious traps mechanism.
There were no obstacles along the way, until finally, they reached the end, which was a small stone room.
The stone room was not big, and the situation inside was very clear. When Wang Lu swept his glance around, he couldn’t help but exclaim, "My god!"