Security was heavy around the city lord’s manor.
City Lord Xie Wushang was having a leisurely afternoon nap. Unfortunately for him, the pageboy at the door knocked with urgent news. “City Lord, the chief warden’s messenger wants an audience.”
The wardens held the most power on the island as they represented the Rejuvenation Isles. They grasped everyone’s fate in their hands and maintained basic order. Of course, all they needed to do was to make sure that nobody escaped. They didn’t care about the darkness, horror, and bloodshed that normally existed on the island.
In fact, they seemed to prefer it. It was the very essence of Winterdraw Island’s existence.
Among the wardens, the one with the greatest power was their chief. He was the central figure of the island with countless martial dao experts serving him. He held everyone’s fate was in his palms.
He could kill anyone with just a word if he pleased. Someone like the city lord could maybe put up some struggle, but death would still be imminent. So how would Xie Wushang have the gall to neglect the messenger?
He surged to his feet, fixed his apparel, and sped off to meet the guest.
“Esteemed messenger, please forgive me for not going out to meet you.” Xie Wushang was extremely meek and docile. However, the latter didn’t seem to take note of it.
The messenger’s brow arched. “Lord Xie, the chief warden has received an order to return to the Isles. A guest with status never seen before will be visiting Winterdraw. The chief places great importance on this, and it’d be best that you complete your given task as soon as possible. Don’t disappoint him, or you know the consequences…”
A dangerous warning tone had crept into the messenger’s words at the end.
Instead of bursting into rage, Xie Wushang reassured the messenger submissively. “Rest assured I will do everything in my power and use every single available resource to fulfill the chief’s orders. Everything will be handled appropriately with no mistakes.”
He was extremely afraid of the chief warden and didn’t dare be discourteous in the slightest. Even a mere messenger was treated with full respect.
“Good. Time is of the essence. This time, you won’t just be welcoming royalty and nobles from the Rejuvenation Isles, but also exalted disciples from the Ten Divine Nations. Conduct yourself well. If you finish your tasks properly and appease the chief, he might even grant you freedom. If you don’t, he’ll be faulted, and you know best what’ll happen to you then.”
A chill ran down Xie Wushang’s spine. He well and truly understood that it was different this time. Even the chief warden was following orders from others.
The chief was merely a subordinate to the senior executives in the Rejuvenation Isles. If the task wasn’t handled appropriately, he’d also suffer at the hands of his supervisors. The city lord would definitely be dead then.
“I’ll spare no effort and do everything I can.” Xie Wushang declared yet again.
The messenger gestured dismissively. “The chief wants results, not empty platitudes. The progress in Sin City is extremely slow, which makes the chief impatient. He’s begun to wonder if you’ve been lazy.”
“Never! The city lord manor will pass down the word and treat this assignment as top priority!”
“Alright, I’ve said all I’ve come here to say. Conduct yourself well.” The messenger didn’t waste any more time talking to Xie Wushang. He stroked his chin and left with a turn. He didn’t need to show Xie Wushang much respect since he was the chief warden’s confidante.
Though the city lord was a little put out by the messenger’s attitude, he didn’t dare think about complaining as the chief warden genuinely did value his confidante highly.
It’d be best if the city lord greatly sped up progress on his given task.
After musing about it briefly, he assembled his closest subordinates.. “Pass on my orders. The bar of the upcoming selection will be raised once more to an unprecedented level, with rewards and titles to match!”
His confidantes were taken aback. This time’s selection had already been created out of thin air with very high standards. And yet, the city lord was still unappeased and wanted to raise the bar once more?
“City Lord, are you being a bit too hasty? Finding talent is important, yes. But you’ll be crossing the line if you raise the level any further. After all, the city lord manor is built upon layers of layers of hardworking and talented individuals. And yet, their rewards and titles are only on par with the upcoming selection. If you raise the bar once more, they’ll be resentful.”
“Agreed. The selection is meant for finding new talents. If they’re given preferential treatment and better rewards, won’t the hearts of your long-serving subordinates grow cold?”
“We understand that the city lord thirsts for talent, but if you proceed with your plan, your long-serving subordinates will feel it unfair.”
His subordinates gave sincere advice, and their arguments made sense. If the bar for the selection was set too high, it’ll be unfair for the veterans.
Xie Wushang knew that his confidantes were right, but he sighed. “Everyone, this is no longer within our control. The chief warden’s messenger just arrived with a veiled threat. He feels that we aren’t prioritizing this matter enough and that progress is too slow. Apparently, the chief warden has grown very impatient.”
“The chief warden?!”
“Is this selection being held by his command?”
The crowd was rendered speechless after learning about the chief’s involvement. They could advise if the matter was contained to only within Sin City. But since the chief was involved, they no longer had the right to speak, nor would they dare to.
Who could possibly bear the crime of going against the chief’s orders? They weren’t suicidal.
Xie Wushang muttered, “I’ve no clue what the chief is planning, but since he’s given us this task, we must take it seriously. If he thinks that we’re not prioritizing this matter enough, we’ll all be in serious trouble. We have to all put our opinions behind us and treat this matter with utmost importance. There can’t be any slip-ups.
“Pass on the message and tell everyone to put everything they have into this event. The recruitment of geniuses is Sin City’s greatest endeavour. Any opinions or dissent can wait until it’s over. I’ll give everyone a proper explanation then!”
Nobody could possibly argue after seeing the city lord’s resolve. They wouldn’t be going just against the city lord, but also the chief warden.
“Rest assured. We will carry out your orders immediately and urge everyone to focus their efforts and energy on this event.”
The new announcement caused another large commotion in Sin City.
“No way! A new announcement? The bar for the selection is raised once again?”
“Is our city that hungry for talent? The stakes this time are unprecedented!”
“I know right? All qualified candidates will be granted gold residency seals, which means they have permanent residency in the city, two million sky spirit stones every year, and a special title!”
“Tsk tsk. I’ve never seen rewards on this level before.”
“The competition will certainly be extremely tough as well. Those who make the cut will be swimming in fame and money! Clearly the deal of the century!”
“With rewards like that, the difficulty and passing cutoff must be extremely high!”
“Just look at the sign-up requirements! There’s limits on age, cultivation, and a lot of other things!”
“Seriously! The upcoming selection is definitely meant to discover future talents. All empyrean cultivators are barred from entering. Half-step empyrean realm is the maximum limit, and all participants must be less than a hundred years old.”
“Tsk tsk. In the cultivation world, we’re barely adults at a hundred years old. How many can possibly reach empyrean at that age?”
“All who qualify are serious geniuses, right?”
“Hehe. The city lord thirsts for capable talents like water. What a pity that I’m already over a hundred years old, or I’d soar to the skies with this chance!”
Posting of the new announcement led to sighs of astonishment and regret. The bountiful rewards were too eye-popping, but it was such a shame that they didn’t meet the basic requirements.
Apart from the abovementioned, all candidates had to be great emperor or above. The requirements so harsh that they were almost unattainable. Only real geniuses could qualify.
At one hundred years old, true geniuses would’ve hit their stride and began to soar dramatically, while lesser geniuses would’ve started to encounter their bottlenecks. One’s potential would’ve mostly surfaced by this age.
Inside the inn that Jiang Chen was staying at, heated discussions flared everywhere about the newly raised standards. The atmosphere in the city had grown noticeably fervent after the announcement.
He didn’t like it one bit. A level-headed person like him could sense the danger that often lurked behind the scenes in a rowdy scene like this. He didn’t know for sure how dangerous the selection was going to be, but there was definitely a reason why the city lord had placed so much importance on it.
Is Sin City really in such need for talent? To the point where they need to raise such a huge and insane commotion?
Jiang Chen was slightly puzzled. However, he couldn’t be bothered with mindless guessing around. He was going to go all out since he’d already made his mind to join the event.