The descendant of the Chen Clan was kneeling on the ground, holding onto his head with both arms. Using his spiritual energy, he was fending off the savage attacks from above.
Yun Meng held onto the cauldron with both hands. Every strike she hammered down was fierce and barbaric, making the young man lose the colors in his face and spitting out blood.
"Hmmph! You goof. You dare to bully me. Watch me as I hit you to your death."
Yun Meng was getting more and more energetic with every movement. Though both of her arms have gotten gooey from overuse, her eyes were glistening with passion. Using the weight of the black cauldron, she continued to hit the young man unruly and unrestrainedly.
There is an old saying that said: chaos killed the old master.
That was a wise statement. Yun Meng’s training was originally higher than the young man’s, but due to a lack of experience, she had the lower hand throughout the fight.
Now, she had ignored all the rules. Though disorderly, the weight of the cauldron plus her natural abilities made every strike a fatal one. She hammered down onto the young man, making him overwhelmed and at a loss.
Just like that, Yun Meng, with her violent ways, finally broke through the young man’s energy shield and beat him to death.
This was an unexpected result.
Even Ling Xian was speechless.
This kind of fighting tactic really is… ludicrous!
"Hehe, Master, what do you think? I’m good right?" Yun Meng rushed over a smile and a face full of proudness. She waited for Ling Xian’s compliments and ignored the discomfort stemmed from committing her first kill.
Ling Xian chuckled bitterly, "Only you would call yourself good. Beating someone to death with a cauldron is a method only you can come up with."
"Psh, this is called innovation. Do you know what innovation means? Perhaps I will create a brand new technique with it," Yun Meng pouted.
"Not only are you not ashamed of what you did, but you are also proud of it. What can I even say to you?"
"Why would I be ashamed? I won." Yun Meng didn’t see why this was a big deal.
"You did win, that is true. But a lot of luck was involved in regards to what happened today. You were lucky that you had more training than him, and you also unexpectedly used this cruel method to kill him," Ling Xian retracted his smile and said in a more serious tone. "If you were fighting against someone of the same level, you would’ve lost your life within ten moves if you fought the way you fought that guy."
Seeing Ling Xian’s serious expression, Yun Meng jumped in fear. With a pitiful face, she said, "Growing up, I rarely fought. I have a lack of experience. You can’t blame me for that."
"That’s true. I can’t blame you for that." Ling Xian suddenly revealed a warm smile.
"Hehe, I knew it! You don’t have the heart to scold me too much."
After Ling Xian gave her a smile, Yun Meng became instantly happy. She patted herself on the chest and giggled, "Master, you scared me. I thought you were going to punish me."
"Where would I find the heart to punish you?" Ling Xian smirked as he marched forward, heading to the Zi Yang House. The last sentence he spoke was meaningful and complex, and it echoed around the forest.
"On our journey there, if we run into any Ninth-Realm beasts, you can deal with them. I sure want to see how you are going to pioneer a new fighting method with a cauldron."
Instantly, Yun Meng’s face turned sour, and she hurriedly chased after Ling Xian.
Yun Yan, too, laughed and followed their steps.
The three of them continued their journey to the House of Zi Yang, full of chatter and jokes.
The House of Zi Yang is located at the very north of the Shi Ao Island. Created by the Immortal of Sword, Zi Yang, and it shared control of the Shi Ao Island with the House of Ling Jian and the House of Xuan Yin. Over ten families of power worked for them and more than 100 smaller forces relied on them. They truly were the dominating parties of the Island, glamorous and prosperous.
However, compared to the glory they experienced a few 10,000 years ago, the House of Zi Yang today had declined greatly. The Supreme Headmaster of the House was merely in the completion stage, and the various Elders there were at the peak of the foundational stage. Compared to the era when Zi Yang himself ruled, they really had fallen.
This was mainly caused by the great war that happened 20,000 years ago. At that time, the political forces of the nine continents attempted to take over the islands. Naturally, the 36 islands allied to stop the invasion of the nine continent.
That war was fought until the Heaven and Earth both split and blood flowed like rivers.
Though in the end, the soldiers of the nine continents were shooed out, the capability of the 36 Islands died down as well. Lots of the most talented cultivators lost their lives in the war.
The House of Zi Yang was one of the better off ones. Though it did lose a lot of its best talents, it did not become extinct. After many 10,000 years of recovering, it restored some of the glories its ancestors established.
This year’s tryout is a proof of their attempt to expand their talent pool.
To the hundreds of small forces that relied on the House of Zi Yang, this was also a precious opportunity.
A camel that is thin is still bigger than a horse. No matter how deprived of talents the House of Zi Yang has gotten, it is still one of the three main forces on Shi Ao Island. An infinite number of cultivators jump on the slim chance of one day entering the House.
When a descendant of a Clan successfully enters, the Clan can pay 30% fewer fees every year, enough to help their small families grow prosperous.
All controlling forces of the 36 islands treated those who relied on them in a similar manner. They don’t see them as human beings, but rather something they need to squeeze all the value out of.
The Yun Clan, for example, had to pay 90% of the total spiritual stones they earn annually. If they fail to pay on time, they would be slaughtered and wiped out.
If they can pay 30% fewer fees, that would be a lot of stress off their back. They would no longer have to only take dangerous but high paying missions or other calculative activities.
Of course, the condition was that the clan’s descendants must first pass the tryout.
For this reason, the majority of the cultivators entering the tryout came from the small families that the Zi Yang House had been repressing.
One month later.
The Sun has risen, reflecting its lights against the wide sea. It was warm and bright.
On the piece of land next to the sea, hundreds of energetic youths gathered, waiting to enter the tryout of the House of Zi Yang.
The oldest one there was no older than 25. Some wore expensive gowns, others dressed in coarse linens. Every one of them had a look of excitement and anticipation as they discussed everything they knew about the House of Zi Yang.
The reputation of being one of the three controlling forces was not an irrelevant matter. On Shi Ao Island, every cultivator wanted to enter the House of Zi Yang, use their resources to fasten their training, learn the strongest techniques, step onto the cloud, and march onto the peak of Taoism.
Just as it was about to turn 12 o’clock, something vibrated in thin air and attracted everyone’s attention.
An elderly man wearing a black robe appeared in midair. He glanced around the entire area. Every single person who exchanged gazes with him felt the sharpness in his stare and looked down onto the ground subconsciously, too scared to look right at him.
Behind him were two young men in white. They had attractive faces and admirable temperament.
"Very good. Cultivators who are already waiting are intelligent people. I do not like those who are late," the elder spoke coldly. Looking down onto these people, he hung in midair without moving like a Buddha,
"Even though there is still 15 minutes until the tryout officially starts, the moment I appeared indicated the start of our test. All cultivators who arrive after this moment are considered to be late and are banned from entering the tryout. Now, everyone, please find me to proceed with the registration process."
The Elder’s expression was calm. A sentence he spoke so nonchalantly and softly stripped away the rights of the cultivators who did not get here due to the long journey.
This was both cruel and natural.
The cultivation journey was just like this. The strong got the set the rules while the weak must follow.
Whatever time the Elder states is the new starting time of the tryout. Nobody will call him cruel, and nobody will fight for those who have yet to arrive.
Just as everyone lined up to register, a soft chuckled rippled through the air and engulfed the entire beach.
"Friend, where we came from is very far from the Zi Yang House, and we’ve had a long journey. I wonder if you can make an exception?"