But here, the place had been modified roughly.
There was a simple Gu formation on the ground, it separated the locations into small areas, and on each of them, there was a number.
Once in a while, the people ahead would move forward by a bit. At the sides of the path, Five Virtues Sect disciples were passing out tokens with numbers on them.
Fang Yuan took his token, the number on it was sixty-three.
Walking into the Disciple Selection Stage, after finding the spot numbered sixty-three, he sat down on the ground.
A while later, when people had finished sitting in the square, an elder of Five Virtues Sect declared: "This Refinement Path Convention has four entry tasks, the test begins now!"
At the next moment, the hundreds of Gu Masters on the Disciple Selection Stage started showing off their skills.
Some of their hands were burning with flames, this was a fire refinement method. Some breathed out smoke, it was a smoke refinement method. Some released several ice snakes, the snakes worked together and breathed out cold air, this was an ice refinement method.
And in Fang Yuan's hands, dozens of starlight specks were dancing, they were like blue fireflies, flying around him.
In accordance with the sequence, Fang Yuan placed the Gu refinement materials in, one by one. Fifteen minutes later, he finished all of the tasks and stood up.
"Such quick speed!" The Five Virtues Sect elder in charge of the event knew about Fang Yuan's rank five Gu Master identity, he had been paying close attention.
Even so, when Fang Yuan stood up, this elder showed shock on his face.
Fang Yuan's speed was simply too fast. He made no mistakes at all, his technique was extremely skilful and experienced.
"What, someone already completed it?!" Fang Yuan's movements attracted the attentions of many Gu Masters who were refining Gu.
"It is that mysterious rank five Gu Master…" The old master stood outside the stage, seeing Fang Yuan, his pupils shrunk as he looked at his disciple in worry, he prayed inwardly: "Good disciple, please do not get distracted from this and lose your focus."
Thankfully, his disciple had been concentrating on refining Gu, he was focused and did not notice the commotion around Fang Yuan.
Fang Yuan walked onto the highest platform, as the elder from Five Virtues Sect left his seat and inspected Fang Yuan's four Gu worms.
"No negative conditions, the Gu worms look like they are well fed and in good shape." The Five Virtues Sect elder was secretly shocked, after inspecting them, he cupped his fists at Fang Yuan, saying warmly: "Lord, please come this way into the mountain."
Fang Yuan nodded, slowly walking and leaving the Disciple Selection Stage.
"No way, is this possible?"
"Someone actually got through using less than one third of the time…"
"Such high refinement path attainment!"
The people outside were talking among themselves, among the Gu Masters who were refining Gu, some were so shocked that their minds wavered, causing their Gu refinement to fail.
Fang Yuan was here to join the Refinement Path Convention, he did not need to hide his skill. He was a Gu Immortal, after all, he did not need to conceal his ability.
He walked up the mountain and after a while, an elder from Five Virtues Sect welcomed him: "Sir, please hold on…"
The elder was about to speak but Fang Yuan waved his hand, interrupting him: "I know your intention. I have no interest. Just this mere Five Virtues Sect cannot accommodate me."
The elder was stunned before rage flashed on his face.
He came here with the sect leader's orders to try and recruit Fang Yuan, to invite him to be an external elder in the sect.
In truth, Five Virtues Sect became one of the signing up locations for the Refinement Path Convention in order to recruit some talents.
With Fang Yuan's rank five cultivation level, Five Virtues Sect was paying great attention to him. With the refinement path attainment that he displayed, even the Five Virtues Sect Leader was shocked, how could he let such a talented person go? Thus, he ordered this elder to come and negotiate.
But before this elder even spoke about his intentions, Fang Yuan rejected him.
Being mercilessly rejected like this made the elder embarrassed.
"What else do you want?" Fang Yuan looked at him coldly.
The elder's face turned purple, he snorted coldly: "Sir, you actually are looking down on our Five Virtues Sect, aren't you being too arrogant?"
"You want to duel me?" Fang Yuan's voice was cold.
The elder's anger subsided, he looked at Fang Yuan deeply: "Good, good, good, sir, you think highly of yourself, I am sure you can obtain a good position in the Refinement Path Convention. My Five Virtues Sect will be waiting to watch it!"
Saying so, he waved his sleeves and left.
Fang Yuan felt indifferent, he continued moving forward, he came to a cliff and arrived at the wood virtue hall.
This hall was hidden in the woods, it was green and mixed in with the grass and trees in the surroundings.
Fang Yuan walked into the hall, there were many tables and chairs inside, elite disciples of Five Virtues Sect were managing the place. Seeing Fang Yuan's arrival, a disciple went up: "Senior, may I ask for your name, sect, and main Gu Master cultivation path."
Fang Yuan replied: "My name is Fang Yuan, my sect will be kept as a secret, my main path will be kept as a secret."
"Oh… okay, senior, please pay a hundred primeval stones as the sign up fee. This fee will be used in…"
Before the disciple finished his words, Fang Yuan tossed him the primeval stones that he had prepared.
The disciple caught it flurriedly, before saying politely: "Please wait a moment."
A short while later, Fang Yuan obtained a token.
On the token, the words 'Fang Yuan' were written, at the back, there was a line of words: Sect hidden, path hidden, signed up at Five Virtues Sect. At the end, there was the time of signing up.
"Senior, please take good care of this token. If you lose it, you should get a replacement as soon as possible, otherwise you will not be able to join the Refinement Path Convention. Please continue on your way up the mountain, the fire virtue hall has the first round of the refinement competition. Only after senior passes this round can you join the second round." The disciple explained patiently.
Fang Yuan took the token and left the wood virtue hall.
By now, the sign up process was over.
Central Continent's Refinement Path Convention was created by the ten great ancient sects, but secretly, Heavenly Court was supporting it.
The Refinement Path Convention was of a huge scale, there were hundreds of sign up locations all over Central Continent. Most of them were sects similar to Five Virtues Sect, having abundant strength and being closely linked to the ten great ancient sects, or simply one of their representatives.
Fang Yuan wanted to join the Refinement Path Convention, he had to sign up at one of these locations. By refining Gu on the spot, and completing the four tasks, he would have the qualifications to sign up and receive the token.
Because there were many demonic path Gu Masters signing up for the Refinement Path Convention, and even Gu Masters from the other four regions, the details for signing up were very flexible. Names could be made up, sects and paths did not need to be stated, the only important thing was the token itself.
There was also a group of special Gu Masters.
These people were either in sects or they themselves had obtained a good position in the previous Refinement Path Convention, thus they could join the Refinement Path Convention automatically.
For example, Hong Yi was such a case.
He was in Universal Life Academy, which had obtained a placing near the end of the list a hundred years ago in the Refinement Path Convention. This gave them three spots to join the Refinement Path Convention automatically.
What was worth noting was that this treatment was only for Central Continent Gu Masters, as well as Central Continent sects.
After all, this Refinement Path Convention was held by the ten great ancient sects of Central Continent, they would favor their own region.
Of course, Immortal Crane Sect had a larger number of spots, but Fang Yuan was only in a subsidiary force of Immortal Crane Sect, if he really went for it, it would be troublesome. Fang Zheng however, was different.
A portion of the spots that the sects had were distributed to disciples and elite disciples, while the other portion went to elders.
Fang Zheng was now an elder of Immortal Crane Sect, he could not compete with the disciples for the spot. His refinement path attainment was very low as well, he could not beat other elders.
Immortal Crane Sect naturally gave the free spots to those with deep foundation in Gu refinement, those Gu Masters that could defend Immortal Crane Sect's prestige in the Refinement Path Convention.
Thus, be it Fang Zheng or Fang Yuan, they had to sign up themselves.
Fang Yuan held the token and walked up the mountain, entering the fire virtue hall.
This was the first round of the competition in the Refinement Path Convention.
If his results were bad, he would not be able to join the second round.
Fang Yuan went in and was informed of the Gu refinement details.
"In thirty minutes, I have to refine the rank one water light Gu, at least a hundred of them to pass and enter the second round. Refining a hundred and fifty would reward me with five kilograms of phantom shadow petals, a hundred and eighty would get me six basins of rootless water, two hundred would get me ten pieces of thunder strike wood… two hundred and forty is third place, two hundred and sixty is second place, and two hundred and seventy-six is first place, I would get the rank four healing Gu worm that is good at relieving heat toxins, green shine Gu."
Fang Yuan thought in his mind.
This first round's difficulty was higher than the first four entry tasks.
But it should not trouble most of the Gu Masters.
Because they only had to refine a hundred water light Gu to pass and move on to the second round. The rewards for refining a larger number, though, was quite tempting to these Gu Masters.
First place would obtain a rank four Gu worm, green shine Gu.
Rank four Gu were often something that only the elder of a large force, or the leader of a small force would have.
Regarding Fang Yuan, he could buy green shine Gu in treasure yellow heaven.
Fang Yuan's status was too high, these rewards had no attraction to him. But what he found interesting was the challenge of these tasks.
"The materials for Gu refinement are provided beforehand, I can use them for free. They also gave the recipe for water light Gu, and I can follow it casually. But even if I go all out and use the water refinement technique, I can only refine two hundred and fifty of them. This result is only third place. But here in Five Virtues Sect, the third place position has already been taken."
In regards to this, it was first come, first served.
Once the conditions for the first three positions had been fulfilled, no matter how well someone who came later performed, it was useless.
In other words, if Fang Yuan wanted to leave his name on the board, he would have to get first or second.
"Actually, it is not impossible to get first place. I can add in expensive materials and increase the production of Gu worms. Water light Gu is only a rank one Gu, if I use rank two or rank three materials, the production would be higher. But I will have to bear the expenses myself. I can also modify the Gu recipe, with my wisdom path inheritance, I can easily modify this Gu recipe without wisdom Gu's help. But that way, wouldn't I lose the fun of a challenge? Hmm… maybe I can try a water-fire refinement technique. Since water light Gu is a water path Gu, people usually use water refinement or ice refinement for it. I can do the opposite and use fire refinement, there might be an unexpected result!"