Endless Eastern Sea…
It was rumored that the size of the Endless Eastern Sea was unknown. In the history of the human countries, there were records of countless explorations in the sea. However, there were no records of any exploration that extended past one hundred thousand miles.
It was because the Endless Eastern Sea was filled with countless miraculous and unpredictable fortuitous opportunities. Thus, the Three Eastern Empires that were the closest to the Endless Eastern Sea were the main groups to explore it.
The other human powerhouses were too far from the Endless Eastern Sea so they could not deliver the giant ships to the sea. Secondly, they could not travel through the vast border of the Three Empires to reach the border of the Endless Eastern Sea.
Besides, in the Tian Xuan Land, there were more areas than just the Endless Eastern Sea that was filled with fortuitous opportunities. Thus, the other Empires would not sacrifice the time and effort just to set their eyes just on the Endless Eastern Sea.
After a long time, the strongest Empires in the human countries had formed a mutual understanding. They would each explore the mysterious areas closest to their territory and they would not interfere with each other.
This way, the authorization to explore the Endless Eastern Sea belonged to Eastern Three Empires. They also never mentioned that it was forbidden for the other empires to explore.
They could go. However, they would never allow the ships to pass the borders.
Since the boats could not pass the borders, they could not fly over. Thus, to the other Empires, the Endless Eastern Sea had become juicy grapes that could only be looked at from afar.
The initial exploration of the Three Eastern Empires was also disorganized and free of rules. Each of them had devolved into countless arguments, some of those arguments had gotten to the point that they had almost declared war on each other.
Because of this fact, the three great Empires had negotiated with each other and made many rules.
The general rule was to forbid anyone from exploring the sea privately.
Regardless of how to explore and when to explore, there were a set of rules.
And these rules would start from this Eastern Friendly Competition. The competition set that from the first to third places, they would allocate ten, six and four spots.
This allocation also helped to pursue a balance between the powerhouses. The spots between the two nations would be equal to the number of spots of the first place. This way, no one would worry about getting ambushed during the exploration. The balance regarding the numbers could help to prevent many unnecessary altercations.
After the number of spots were set, not everyone could go.
The people that were eligible to participate in the exploration must be one of the young disciples that had participated in the Friendly Competition. Especially those leaders of the major powerhouses that had already explored it once before, they could not go again.
This exploration opportunity could only be given to young people.
And if each sect wanted to send their leaders, the three empires must negotiate and reach a mutual agreement. If any of the nations refused, the leaders could not participate.
With such restrictions, it was apparent that the Three Eastern Empires valued this exploration greatly. They had reached the extent that they would fight for over an inch of land.
Zhuo Buqun’s words caused these disciples to fall silent.
Wei Yi was the first one that raised his head as he said seriously: "Teacher, since this is the rules passed down through the generations in the Stargaze, as the disciples, we should follow our senior’s footsteps and give it all we’ve got. Regardless of the future or the exploration, I will strive to the utmost of my whole life!"
When the other disciples witnessed Wei Yi’s attitude on display, their blood also boiled up as they said: "Yes, we are willing to follow the footsteps of our seniors and not to bring shame to the pride of the Stargaze!"
Naturally, Qin Wushuang showed no signs of fear before these benefits and gains. He was not someone that was afraid of a challenge. On the contrary, he was someone that was afraid of no challenge.
Since this Endless Eastern Sea was this interesting, what reason did he have to not give it a try?
Although the success rate of exploring the Endless Eastern Sea was low, there was still a chance. At least, his teacher’s generation had succeeded once.
As long as it was not a dead end, as long there was the slightest chance for success, Qin Wushuang felt that it would be worth trying! After all, a harvest would always come equal to your contribution.
When he saw that Head Palace Master and his teacher looking at him with questioning eyes, Qin Wushuang smiled leisurely: "Head Palace Master, Teacher, since I started climbing up from the Humble Class, each step was a balance between life and death. During the battle at the Green Jade Mountain, I also brushed past hell’s gate. Thus, I’ve already seen through life and death. I could even say that I should have seen through life and death from the first step when I started training. If I did not understand life and death, how could I grasp the meaning of Dao from life and death? I look forward to this Endless Eastern Sea."
Tan Zhongchi laughed: "Great, no wonder you are someone that I personally picked myself. You are extraordinary. Wushuang, with your words, I feel that your group of disciples have the luck. With Wei Yi, who has the Natural Spiritual Roots, and you, a legendary martial arts training expert, you guys all have great luck with you. Thus, you are the generation that the five of the Palace Masters sees a promising future. Regarding the general strength and basic qualities, your generation is the most exceptional within the most recent hundred years. You must know that the five of the Palace Masters is nowhere close to the stage of Wei Yi and yourself at your ages. Thus, we have very many reasons to look forward to you guys."
Tian Zhixing, the Fifth Palace Master also nodded: "Indeed. Although my generation had good luck and exceptional power, our overall strength is still less than yours. You young people do have the hope of becoming the foundation for the future Stargaze. If you succeed in exploring the Endless Eastern Sea, in less than twenty years, you will all achieve a qualitative jump! You will all fly forward!"
Naturally, no one would doubt it since these were the experiences of the five Palace Masters.
Zhuo Buqun summarized everything that had just been discussed: "Ok, now you know all the gains and losses. I believe that you also know that as the Core disciples and the participants, you are not only responsible for your own personal gains and glory, but the future of the sect and the fate of the Great Luo. I only have these words to share with you—To be realistic without flights of fancy, and always carry high goals."
All the disciples bowed in acknowledgement and vowed to do their best.
"Ok, before the start of the competition tomorrow, there will be a bet between the three Empires. This bet is also one of the old traditions in each Friendly Competition. All the three major sects that participate in the competition would give the corresponding bets. This format is like the gambling competition you held at the Nature Manifestation Valley. All the bets will belong to the victor. Regarding the size of this bet, the three sects will discuss at the time. Usually, whenever the competition is hosted at the Heavenly Lake Empire, the Stargaze Palace has never gotten good grades. Thus, we had never made big bets. However, today, the situation is different. Thus, I discussed with the Second and the Fifth Palace Master that considering you guys have exceptional potential, it’s worth making a bet. Tomorrow we will try everything to raise the stakes. Whether it will all get wasted or we bring home everything, it will all depend on you!"
The Head Palace Master’s words made the young people rub their fists as they all nodded. And the Head Palace Master’s following words fired them up even more: "If you can win first place, the payout will all be given to you. We will take nothing."
Indeed, with these rich rewards, surely there would be heroes.
Naturally, such reward system could make their disciples focus more and get more motivated. Besides fighting for their sect and for their country, they now had extra motivations to fight for themselves.
Surely, the bets that could be placed in the Friendly Competition would not be simple ones.
Tan Zhongchi said with a smile: "I believe that this extra motivation will make you guys work harder. Ok, we will not say any extra words. Since the Head Palace Master has already spoken, I will not say anymore. I only want to say one thing, the chance of a miracle that happens during one’s training path will disappear instantly. If you miss it, most likely it will not occur on the second time."
Tian Zhixing, the Fifth Palace Master was also deeply touched: "Right. Thinking back, in my generation, there are also a few Core disciples that resisted in going to that Endless Eastern Sea. As a result, the five of us are the only ones left of that generation. And the other disciples of the same generation had either encountered many different types of mistakes during their training or met different misfortunes. They had either died or are all sleeping in the altar at the Stargaze Palace. It’s like what Qin Wushuang said, you can only grasp the meaning of Dao after you’ve seen beyond life and death. Those disciples were scared of death, how could they expect that for tens or a hundred years after their death, it was us, that they thought that was going to die for sure, would be the last ones remaining?"
Tian Zhixing’s tone was filled with gratification. It was because he knew that among his generation, his talent and potential would not be able to rank in the top five. He could barely make it to the top ten.
However, he had joined in that exploration of the Endless Eastern Sea without hesitatiion and was one of the five that had survived.
Thus, he had come to his current position as the Fifth Palace Master and had his thousands of disciples. This was the variation of opportunities and fate.
The words of the Fifth Palace Master had demonstrated a counterexample.
All life and death had its own plans. For the martial arts training, it would only be right if one could grasp chances and not miss it. One might be able to survive by not going to that Endless Eastern Sea. However, how could one never expect to meet any other strong warriors or die in the wild?
With this encouraging talk, all the Core disciples of the Stargaze seemed to have grown up in a night. In one night, they had deeply comprehended the concept of responsibility and had become more mature. They finally knew that for thousand of years, the Stargaze Palace had made many sacrifices and contributions to the Great Luo as the supreme existence.
Early next morning, all participating and non-participating warriors gathered together under the leadership of the seniors.
From the Archaic Mysteries Sect, the Stargaze Palace and the Dragon and Tiger Sect, three big shots had appeared.
Without question, all twenty-four semi-final participants came from these three sects.
This was supreme authority and monopoly. However, this supreme authority held high integrity and existed for the benefit of the nation.
Shi Chenglong, the head of the Dragon and Tiger Sect opened his mouth to speak first: "Everyone, the rules still remain the same. Before the competition, let’s make the bets to encourage the young people."
Shi Chenglong looked at Gao Yue with a smile: "Head Gao, you are the host. For sure, you would be generous. What kind of wager are you placing?"
This bet was in fact, an action to "Rob the rich to aid the poor." In the end, the stakes of the second and third place would be given to the victor.
Thus, these bets would be placed with extreme dedication. Whoever tried to be stingy over the bets, it meant that they were not confident in this Friendly Competition. To get scared before the fight, it would be another blow to the spirits of the participants.
However, Zhuo Buqun was feeling curious. In the past, all five Heads of the Archaic would come out together. How come only three had appeared? Where did the other two go?
He didn’t know that the Third and the Fourth Heads were assisting the law enforcement group of the Red Dragon Empire to catch the criminal. They were making connection with the Red Dragon to plot evil schemes!