Now this is what you call…
The Head Elder looked upon and knocked the bright silver sword before him, and spoke in his husky voice. “He really is in this group of people… Fifth Junior Sister, what do you think?”
At the other end of the bamboo room, the woman dressed in white showed a rare expression of seriousness. “The one who completed the chain of tasks I created… He is certainly not an ordinary person.”
“Little Ling’Er told me about it as well. In all honesty, he does not look like the Chosen One, nor possess the potential one expects from the Chosen One.”
“Tut-tut. When did you become one of those people who attribute success to talent alone? Let’s say we judge them based on potential. If I were to give you a person with a Heaven Spirit Base, could you teach that person well?”
Faced with contempt from his Junior Sister, the Head Elder coughed. “Fifth Junior Sister, have you forgotten about Ling’Er again?”
“Whatever. Even if he has only a Five Elements Spirit Base – no, a Six Harmony Spirit Base – I’m certain he’s the Chosen One. Not to mention it’s also the Age of Chaos, accompanied with nonsensical talk of a Chosen One spurred on by yourself. I just helped fulfil your request and designed a test for identifying anyone with special talents. If you doubt it, then I can’t–”
The Head Elder waved his hand to interject. “I am not doubting you, I just have a strange feeling. Anyway, it’s fine. Junior Sister, since you say so, I don’t bear any doubts. I’ll just keep a closer eye on this supposed Chosen One then, even if I must use my privileges as Head Elder and Head Elder of the sect.”
The junior sister laughed. “If you are reluctant to use your privileges as the Head Elder when needed, then what is the point of having you as the Head Elder? You might as well retire and pass me the title, and let me show you how to be a good Head Elder.”
The Head Elder did not bother with what she said, and disappeared, leaving the lady in white unsatisfied.
The Head Elder only wanted the elders of the Heavenly Sword Hall to attend the additional trial. For an ex-elder like her who was not eligible to attend, all she could do was wait, but…
The lady in white looked around the room, and revealed a greedy smile. Although the Head Elder was well known to be thrifty, he was still the Head Elder of the sect. The bamboo room was his personal meditation room, which meant that there was bound to be a lot of hidden treasures. Usually, the Head Elder would have either set up a barrier to prohibit intruders or guard the place by himself, leaving no chance for her to strike. But at this moment… opportunity was screaming out to her.
Then all of a sudden, she felt a sense of dizziness. And in the next moment, she was already standing outside the bamboo room. Needless to say, the internal protection barrier activated and kicked her out.
“What, so careful!? You are really distrusting!”
As she was complaining, she saw a glimmer coming from below the table.
“…… Did that idiot forget to wear his glasses again?”
The Head Elder arrived at the Mystic Cloud Hall and sat down on his seat.
On seeing him, all of the elders got up and greeted him. “Greetings, Head Elder!”
“Ah, no need for such politeness, junior brothers and sisters. I am late, and ought to be offering an apology instead,” said the Head Elder.
Second Elder Liu Xian coughed loudly to interject. “Head Elder, since all the people required are in attendance, can we get started? Just a moment ago, the other elders and I deliberated and decided that among the fifteen youths, leaving three would be just right.”
The Head Elder thought to himself. As long as they were able to keep the most important one, it would suffice. He had already reviewed the candidate himself previously on two separate occasions: once at the inn, and another at the Golden Bridge. Unfortunately, during the gathering he had been busy with other affairs. Even after he finally found time to attend to the gathering after great difficulties, the time had to be spent dealing with the antics of his Junior Sister. Otherwise, for this kind of matter that had so much at stake, he would have definitely paid more attention.
The Head Elder sighed and motioned his hand. “Let’s not waste any more time.”
And with that, the additional trial began.
The additional trial was nothing fancy. The doors of the Mystic Cloud Hall were wide opened, with whole hall shrouded in a soft white light. At the front of the hall stood several disciples dressed in black and white who politely, yet with a cold, distant manner, led the applicants to stand at the front of hall to wait for the trial. Within the hall, eighteen sharp pairs of eyes laid their intense stares on them, as if to dissect them.
And that was it. No complex games or rules. Be it that you were good or bad, to leave or stay, it all depended on the elders’ discernment. Of course, this time, the elders would take things seriously and open their spiritual eyes in order to have the deepest analysis of each applicant’s potential. Even the Head Elder used his Stellar Gaze, which can not only see through the present, but even the future.
Although not much was needed to be done on the candidates’ part, they were extremely nervous. Feeling like a slave up for auction, the barrier of white light prevented all the applicants from seeing the judges’ reactions clearly. They also had absolutely no idea whether they would be judged as good or bad and no clue as to the standards that the Sect used in evaluating them.
A disciple dressed in black and white spoke. “Now, please come one by one to the front of the hall.”
One by one? Is there no scheduled order? Um, would it be better to go first or last? What about walking, should we walk faster, slower?
While the rest were in distress over these questions, a certain youth with a look of resolute made great strides and walked to the front of the hall.
However, it was not Wang Lu, nor the consistently well-performing Hai Yun Fan, but a crown prince from the Great Ming Kingdom, Zhu Qin.
This was a last-ditch effort from Zhu Qin. With top talents such as Wang Lu and Hai Yun-Fan around, the opportunities for them to shine were few. Zhu Qin was not confident, but he knew he had to demonstrate his resolve at the very least.
He came in tenth in the Cloud Wave Map, not because he was more indecisive than those before him, but because he pushed himself too hard on the Golden Bridge, resulting in his exhaustion, and having to rest for a longer period of time in the Cloud Wave Map. Thinking about it after the fact, he really regretted that decision.
Zhu Qin did not want to give the elders the wrong impression. After all, he had heard that the Spirit Blade Sect had always attached great importance towards a person’s disposition. Thus, he would show his disposition for all of them to see!
With a steady pace, he walked forward. In fact, it did not seem like the youth’s mind was highly nervous. However, as he walked on, the whole hall remained silent.
Was this good or bad? Who knows……
And following right after Zhu Qin was Wang Zhong. The boy may not have been as decisive as Zhu Qin, but he was clever enough. In fact, he saw that when Zhu Qin came forward, Wang Lu already had the intention to move, but was unwilling to fight with Zhu Qin to go first.
It doesn’t matter. If Wang Lu does not want to compete, I will.
Even if he had stopped serving his master, Wang Zhong knew Wang Lu’s judgement and capabilities very well. No matter how ridiculous the situation or problem, he was always spot-on with his calculations.
So Wang Zhong followed Zhu Qin closely, and walked over. He turned around to see Wang Lu smiling at him.
Wang Zhong immediately turned away and felt his heart tremble when he saw Wang Lu’s smile.
Some sounds came from amongst the elders. Although the sound was extremely soft, Wang Zhong, who was born extremely sharp perceptions, was barely able to make out what they were saying.
“Oh, so it was really him.”
“Senior brother, do you think that this child is special?”
“Yes, indeed. He is somewhat different.”
“But in terms of his talent, it’s not too bad but it’s not surprising either.”
“Don’t judge everything solely on talent.”
Wang Zhong was not able to make out any further dialogue, but just those few words had left his mind blank.
There’s hope! The Head Elder thinks that I’m different, and has potential!
An overwhelming sense of happiness flooded him, so much so that while he was engulfed in his trance, many others have finished the trial.
When he came round again, he was just in time to see Hai Yun Fan walk forward with a smile on his face. Hai Yun Fan he did not notice it, but Wang Zhong was able to make out what the elders said.
“Oh, what a pity eh……”
Pity? Ha-ha, seems like it’s game over for the Prince from the Cloud Mountain Empire.
Indeed, on the Golden Bridge, Hai Yun Fan had to stop way earlier than Wang Zhong, and clearly did not qualify for the Spirit Blade Sect.
Although he was gloating inside, Wang Zhong did not show it, and nodded to Hai Yun Fan as he walked past him.
Then, he attentively waited for the next applicant, who was also the last, Wang Lu.
Wang Lu wanted to be the first. But for no significant reason. He just wanted to get it all over with but seeing as he was not able to go first, then going last was not too bad as well.
As for the intense stares that were concentrating on him, Wang Lu did not care the least. He swaggered forward, with an attitude of indescribable composure.
Then, everyone heard a many sounds of excitement from within the hall.
“What the f—!?”
“Dear lord, his spiritual base is overwhelming!”
“I’ve been practicing for a few hundred years, but today I have truly seen the miracles of God!”
“Quick, go and make him into a specimen, I want to take him in as a collection piece!”
“I want to eat his meat! I’ve heard eating it will give you eternal youth!”
The elders’ unbridled voice rang through the Mystic Cloud Hall, leaving all the applicants stunned.
The hall became dead silent. However, the racket roused all those within the hall.
What the hell, this Wang Lu is really something! What kind of a place is the Spirit Blade Sect!? Recognized as one of top five sects within the Ten Thousand Celestial Alliance! What kind of person has the Sect not seen before? And yet, they’re shocked at a country boy’s spirit base!
Is there still justice in this world? Is this guy is really the child of peasants from the countryside and not the bastard son of some immortal king?
And just as everyone was talking about this, a girl dressed in vivid colours walked out from the inner halls of Mystic Cloud Hall, holding a note, which she then read word for word. “Everyone, please take a short break for now. We will be compiling the opinions of all the elders. In around an hour, we will reveal the three applicants selected.”
After she finished reading the note, she swiftly put the note away and turned back into the hall. However, she could not help but look at a certain someone for a while longer.
That someone was naturally, Wang Lu. The girl looked at him with eyes full of curiosity and endless interest. Comparatively, she disregarded the rest. Such a difference in treatment made everyone envious and jealous, wanting to take Wang Lu’s place.
There was no more doubt. There would definitely be a place for Wang Lu within the three finalists selected by the Spirit Blade Sect. With cheater-like intellect, an unbelievable spirit base, and a likeable aura. Even the most stringent of examiners could not possibly find any flaws in him.
All this time, Wang Lu remained highly composed. He was neither moved by the ruckus coming from within the halls nor was he paying any attention to the curious looks from the female disciples. He just stood there quietly, with a posture beaming with confidence.
Just at this time, from within the Mystic Cloud Hall, the vibrant girl walked out once again, holding a note in her hands.
“For those whose names have been read out by me, follow me in. As for the others,” the girl looked up and smiled, “I suppose it’s time to head home.”
The applicants nervously held their breaths, as they silently waited for the outcome of the trial.