Jiang Chen wasn't particularly moved by this news because the number of seats didn't really matter to him. His objective hadn't changed since the start. Even if there was only one arena lord seat left, he would do everything in his power to take it. Since there were nine seats available, he felt even more confident.
From the crowd's reactions, the assistant temple master knew that this announcement was as popular as expected. He immediately continued his encouragement. "I hope that you will show your true skills and do everything in your power to win this competition. I guarantee you that the scale of this term's Bounty Arena won't disappoint you all. Of course, the nine arena lords who will be joining us in this Bounty Arena later will be very powerful, because they must first obtain our judges' unanimous approval."
So it seemed that Emperor Peerless, Pill King Blue Phoenix and Formation Master Wang Xuetong would also be the judges of the arena lord tryouts. The contestants couldn't help but feel a little nervous. Some people were even worried that the judges had already picked out their arena lords. Would they put down talented and competitive candidates during the tryouts because they felt threatened?
The assistant temple master smiled as if he'd read their thoughts. "Don't worry, the three judges are honorable seniors. They were invited to attend the Bounty Arena because they are formally acknowledged to be people of outstanding moral qualities. I have no doubt that they can represent the objectivity of Temple of Cleansing Fire. Therefore, you don't need to worry about this at all."
Lin Zhirong nodded repeatedly while jabbering in an excited tone, "There's no way someone as amazing as Emperor Peerless would ever commit foul play! Hmph, it is their luck to be able to stand on the same arena as Emperor Peerless, and they dare worry about him oppressing them through scrupulous means? How foolish!
"What do you think, Brother Shao Yuan?" Lin Zhirong suddenly looked at Jiang Chen.
Jiang Chen smiled calmly. "We can expect honor from our seniors. Therefore, we shouldn't judge them with our shallow rules."
"Hahaha, you are absolutely right. It is true that I don't know anything about Pill King Blue Phoenix or formation master Wang Xuetong, but I am certain that Emperor Peerless would never lower himself to such pathetic actions." By 'pathetic actions', he meant the act of suppressing strong opponents or opponents with potential on purpose.
To be honest, Jiang Chen himself didn't think that they would go so far. The Temple of Cleansing Fire wasn't a bunch of idiots. If something like this did happen, it would never escape their attention. Moreover, the Temple had their own selection criteria. The only reason they were giving the trio such special privileges was because of the trio's high status. Therefore, the trio would only be complicating their own lives if they did something unfair, and that was assuming that their pride would even allow such a thing to happen at all. On this, Jiang Chen didn't doubt their integrity in the slightest.
"Alright, I will now announce the selection rules.
"First, the nine arenas are split into three zones. There is a martial dao zone, a pill dao zone and a general zone. I don't think I need to explain what martial dao and pill dao zones are, do I? The general zone covers a variety of subjects such as medicine and divination, runes and formations, mechanisms and special arts, beast taming and so on. Each zone has three seats to be won. Therefore, you all must choose the zone you wish to participate first before the competition can officially begin."
To be honest, Jiang Chen could beat any one of this zones. In fact, he was tempted to participate in two zones at once. He wasn't sure if the rules would allow this though. While he was hesitating, a raspy voice suddenly cut through the air. "Temple Master Gao, this old man is somewhat knowledgeable in both martial and pill dao. May I ask if I can challenge both arenas?"
Apparently Jiang Chen wasn't the only one with that thought. Not only did the old man voice Jiang Chen's thoughts, a lot of people echoed his sentiment as well. There was a surprisingly large amount of people who wanted to try.
The assistant temple master smiled slightly. "Theoretically, a participant may challenge all three zones at once. However, are you sure you have the energy to challenge all of them? And are you sure that you can perform outstandingly in every zone? If you bite off more than you can chew, you may fail to overcome even a single zone and lose everything."
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. There were many who understand this proverb, but the one thing the martial dao world didn't lack was ambitious and hungry people.
"Assistant Temple Master Gao, if the rules allow it, then my choice is of no one's concern. If I so happen to fail to every zone I participate in, then I will simply be reaping what I've sown." The owner of the raspy voice was extremely stubborn.
Assistant Temple Master Gao smiled calmly. "It is allowed. However, if you failed to triumph in any zones, your deposit will be deducted by the same amount of zones you participated in. For example, if you participated in three zones and failed all of them, you will lose thirty million saint spirit stones in total."
"I understand. As long as I'm allowed to participate in multiple zones at once, I don't care about losing a bit of money." It seemed that the owner of the raspy voice wasn't going to change his mind no matter what.
The owner of the raspy voice had perfectly voiced Jiang Chen's own thoughts. That being said, he was aware that his martial dao strength was limited by his age. If he were to participate in the martial dao zone, he would definitely stand out like a stork amongst chickens.
I cannot just pass by the pill dao zone and general zone though. Still, my success will definitely cause a commotion. Regardless, he had already made up his mind. He was certain of his victory in both zones. It wasn't blind confidence at all. The memories of his past life were more than capable of sustaining his ambition. A commotion was exactly what he wanted. If he failed to stir up a commotion, then he could not possibly garner enough reputation to suppress his competitors at Star Harvesters' auction later.
Alright. All those who wish to participate in the martial dao zone arena lord tryouts, please come over here," Assistant Temple Master Gao said.
Half of the participants moved over to the place he pointed to immediately. It appeared that martial dao was also the most popular even in Pillfire City. Although Pillfire City was famed for being the strongest in pill dao, it was still a world of martial dao.
"All those who wish to participate in the pill dao zone, please come over here." Another group of people got up to their feet. There were now only twenty to thirty people left in their seats.
Nearly two hundred people had signed up, but in the end only roughly thirty were participating in the general zone. There was no doubt that martial dao and pill dao were much, much popular than others.
Lin Zhirong didn't move from his seat, but he exclaimed in surprise when he saw Jiang Chen move. "Brother Shao Yan, are you participating in the pill dao tryouts? We are in Pillfire City, you know. The competition will be fierce. You may as well join the general zone tryouts and try your luck."
"I will participate in the general zone too." Jiang Chen smiled. He followed the pill dao group of participants down the right corridor.
For a moment, Lin Zhirong didn't understand what he meant. "What did he mean when he say he's going to participate in the general zone?" Then the realization struck him like a bolt of lightning. He slapped his thigh and exclaimed. "Is he planning to challenge both zones He… Is he trying to defy all expectations?"
Lin Zhirong was utterly shocked. At first, he'd thought that this young man had merely come to spectate and gain some experience, just like he was. He never thought that the other was actually here to participate! Lin Zhirong himself was a man of great background and consummate skill. However, he dared not say that he could absolutely win a spot as arena lord.
After all, no mediocre cultivators dared participate in a tryout like this. Even if there was, their numbers were few. It was a one in twenty chance to succeed given the number of participants to seats. It was plainly impossible for a cultivator without talent or skill to come out victorious at all.
Lin Zhirong muttered to himself, "They all say that I'm wastrel, but this boy is an even bigger wastrel than I am. That's twenty million saint spirit stones he just flushed down the drain!"
He still thought that Shao Yuan was treating this as a party. To a wastrel, spending twenty million saint spirit stones for a valuable life experience was nothing big. Also, freedom of choice was one of the benefits of being rich.
More than seventy people were participating in pill dao. It would be difficult to select just three arena lords from them all. All participants had found their respective spots inside the pill battle room by now.
"This selection is quite simple, everyone. There is a scroll in front of you. It contains various questions about pill dao. These are questions that we have spent more tens of thousands of years to refine. There are a total of thirty questions inside the scroll that are split into ten difficulty grades. Your task is to answer every question inside this scroll. Every question gives a certain amount of points. When you are finished, your total points will be summed up and calculated. The top three participants of this selection will become the three arena lords of the pill dao zone.
"If you happen to score the same amount of points as another opponent, then whoever comes forward first will become the victor."
This general rule was applied to all pill dao exams in the entire Divine Abyss Continent. If two participants scored the same amount of points, then completion time would be used to determine the victor.
"Remember, you must write down your number on the scroll. When everyone is done with their task, we will seal away the number on the scroll. This way, the judges will not be able to see your number during the review process. Therefore, you don't have to worry about foul play.
"One more thing. The questions presented before you have all been bounty missions in the past. Therefore, they are a test of your pill dao foundation as well as reflects your ability to accomplish these missions perfectly. Hehe, I believe that some of you want to overcome multiple zones at once. Let's see if you can still maintain that naive dream after you read the questions inside."