To further illustrated this meaning, the overall atmosphere of Heaven's Will Palace was both oppressive and heavy. The dark palace was entirely built using mountain rocks with a high concentration of iron, and the characters engraved on the plaque hanging above the entrance were dull and gray. The feeling it gave forth was like the Heaven's Will that was heavily pressing on a person. It couldn't be defied, it couldn't be changed, it couldn't be overridden, and one could only accept it passively.
Haoying Fengying continued explaining besides Wu Qi. As a matter of fact, the Heaven's Will Palace of Heaven Breaking Sword Sect was not the only one that was built in such fashion. The exact same design could be found in all thirteen Immortal Sects of Great Yan Dynasty. It was as if Great Yan Dynasty had the intention to imply some hidden messages through the design. As for what kind of message they tried to convey, it could only be comprehended by each individual, as no outsider could tell them about it.
They walked along the black-pebbled path for quite a distance, and finally arrived at the main hall of Heaven's Will Palace. The hall ran deep and wide, at least one thousand feet in both length and width, yet the ceiling was only less than twenty feet tall. Although the palace looked oppressive from the outside, when Wu Qi came into the main hall of it, the feeling of oppressiveness was at least one hundred times greater than when he was on the outside.
In this spacious hall of low ceiling, the walls were painted black, were the ceiling and the floor. Although it was dark inside, there were only six candle holders that could be found scattered around, each having a few large tallow candles lit on it, which made the hall to be poorly lit. A few old men were seen sitting on a cushion at the far end of the hall, looking like they were occupied with nothing. They seemed like a group of ghosts in this dim and spacious hall.
Haoying Fengying brought Wu Qi and came to the far end of the main hall and bent down and bowed towards the few old men respectfully.
The aura emanating from these old men was vague and subtle. Their skin was dried, wizened, and their body was thin and skinny. It looked like with just a light press of the finger, their gray-colored skin would turn into ashes and peel off from their bodies. Actually, all of them were peak Xiantian experts who had broken through the Embryonic Breath tier of Xiantian realm. Their spirit and Qi had gathered and condensed inwardly within their body, and no energy essence could easily leak from them. Among these old men, Wu Qi could sense a vague, sharp and vigorous life force from one of them. Apparently, that old man was a mighty expert who had one of his legs stepped into Gold Core realm.
As long as he took another step, he would transform from a Xiantian Daoist to a Human Immortal, and that would give him at least eight hundred years of life. One step mortal, another step Immortal, obviously, this old man had the most important status among all five of them, and the other four old men actually took him as their leader.
When the old man who almost formed his Gold Core saw Haoying Fengying approaching, he let out a dried smile and said, "Oh it is you, Fengying. I thought you are supposed to patrol the sect today? Why do you come to Heaven's Will Palace? Who is this little kid? A new apprentice? Why I never heard any of our Elders accepting a new apprentice?"
Haoying Fengying smiled and said, "Third Great-Uncle, this is Wu Qi, a new apprentice who Sect Leader had just accepted a few days ago, and was requested by Princess Zhang Le herself. Princess Zhang Le said that if Sect Leader refused to accept Wu Qi as his apprentice, she would cut off this year's supply of energy stones and magical items. That is why Sect Leader had personally accepted him as his apprentice!"
"Oh." The few old men let out a slight exclamation together, then rested their eyes curiously on Wu Qi's face. The Third Great-Uncle of Haoying Fengying, Haoying Xiong, felt surprised, nodded his head and said, "Upon the request by Princess Zhang Le? It is true that she would do something like this. Do you remember how Bai Xiaguan offended her three years ago? And the consequence? Princess Zhang Le sent her men and threw all the energy stones and magical items that were supposed to be given to Bai Xiaguan that year into Myriad Red River, from upper to the lower reaches!"
All old men burst out into laughter. Haoying Xiong waved his hand at Wu Qi and called him over, saying with a smile on his face, "Since you're the new apprentice accept by Sect Leader, the result of the bone structure test is not that important. However, since you've come to Heaven's Will Palace, it is also a nice thing to have some knowledge regarding your own bone structure."
Haoying Xiong smacked his lips and continued, "If you really do have the bone structure of cultivating into Immortal, you better put in a hard effort in your cultivation. Perhaps you could form your Gold Core and get to live a few hundred years of leisurely life. Yet, if you don't have the bone structure of cultivating into an Immortal, no one would throw you out from Heaven Breaking Sword Sect. After all, you're the apprentice of Sect Leader! By borrowing the reputation of Heaven Breaking Sword Sect, you can still bully men and women in Ji City for over a hundred years. That is still something very enjoyable."
Cold sweat was seen breaking out from Wu Qi's forehead. This Haoying Xiong was indeed a straightforward man, and what he said was actually correct. Out of all three thousand apprentices under Nie Baihong, not all of them were having talent in cultivating Dao. At least half of them didn't possess any potential in cultivating. Nevertheless, all these three thousand apprentices were still the apprentices of the Heaven Breaking Sword Sect. Taking that Haoying Fenglong as an example, he didn't even cultivate much of innate energy, but that didn't stop him from becoming the apprentice of Heaven Breaking Sword Sect and continue holding the status of the first priority of his clan's inheritor!
The few old men, including Haoying Xiong, kept chitchatting among themselves before suddenly recalled the purpose of Wu Qi's visit. Haoying Xiong brought his hand onto the floor and pressed a few times. A few pieces of thick and heavy tiles on the floor slowly slid aside, revealing a stone platform that gradually rose from underground. On the square surface of the stone platform was a white crystal pillar, nearly ten feet tall and with the diameter of a water bucket. Wu Qi recognized this object, as it was mentioned in Scroll of Stealing. It was an instrument that was used specifically in determining the potential and bone structure of a cultivator- 'Nascent Peeking Spiritual Crystal'.
Without saying a word, Wu Qi stepped onto the stone platform, placed his right palm onto the crystal and injected a thread of his innate energy into it.
A watery gleam flashed from the Nascent Peeking Spiritual Crystal, and a faded blue glow emerged from it. Haoying Xiong nodded his head slowly and said, "Hmm, you do have Spirit Seed, which is not considered bad. No matter to what degree your Spirit Seed grows into, having one is better than having none. It is a Water elemental Spirit Seed, so you can cultivate the sword style of 'Azure Water Sword'. If your Spirit Seed were Earth or Fire elemental, that would be a problem!"
Staggeringly, Haoying Xiong rose to his feet and walked up onto the stone platform. He then formed a finger gesture and unleashed a seal into the crystal.
A large curtain of white light immediately surged out from the crystal, covering Wu Qi into it. Catalyzed by this white light, Wu Qi felt all his Qi and blood flowing quickly in his body, and all his Qi essence was rushing toward his Spiritual Ocean without his control, forcefully slamming onto a mysterious spot found within his Spiritual Ocean.
An indistinct buzzing noise echoed out as a curtain of ray burst out from Wu Qi's temple, revealing a vague, incorporeal figure in it. Haoying Xiong took out a ruler from his sleeve, using it he measured against the vague figure. He nodded his head smilingly and said, "Your Innate Nascent Embryo is five feet tall. Excellent, this is an upper tier Innate Nascent Embryo."
Wu Qi exercised his will, and the information regarding Innate Nascent Embryo he learned from Scroll of Stealing immediately emerged in his mind.
Innate Nascent Embryo had nothing to do with Daoist of Xiantian realm and Human Immortal of Gold Core realm. However, once cultivators formed their Nascent Soul and became an Earth Immortal of Nascent Soul, their achievement would have a huge connection to their innate Nascent Embryo. It determined the highest achievement an Earth Immortal could reach, because the maximum height a Nascent Soul could reach was in relation to the height of an Innate Nascent Embryo.
For a three feet tall Innate Nascent Embryo, the Nascent Soul would reach to the maximum height of three feet. And for a six feet tall Innate Nascent Embryo, the Nascent Soul would reach the maximum height of six feet. And for every inch the Nascent Soul grew, on an average, the overall strength of a cultivator would strengthen by threefold. But it also depended on the skill the cultivator was cultivating with. If the degree of overall strength for a one-inch tall Nascent Soul were considered 1, the overall strength of a three feet tall Nascent Soul would be 90, while a six feet tall Nascent Soul would have the overall strength of 180.
In general, the tallest Innate Nascent Embryo a cultivator could have was six feet tall. One foot tall was considered the lowest tier, two feet was lower tier, three feet was middle lower tier, four feet was middle tier, five feet was upper tier and six feet was superior tier. When one had his Nascent Embryo reached to the height of over six feet, then he was destined to attain the cultivation of Gold Immortal. Wu Qi's Innate Nascent Embryo was five feet tall. Among all cultivators, this was considered an excellent potential of one in a hundred. If he could cultivate to the Nascent Soul realm, his achievement would definitely be greater than others.
A brief smile appeared on Wu Qi's face. He didn't take the matter concerning his Innate Nascent Embryo to heart. For someone who was cultivating with Scroll of Stealing, the size of his Innate Nascent Embryo would never become the determining factor that restricted his future achievement. Even if his Innate Nascent Embryo were only three inches tall, that would not affect him at all. There was nothing under the heaven that he couldn't steal, and according to Scroll of Stealing, Innate Nascent Embryo was also one of the things that he could steal. As long as he stole a thread of Innate Fortune Energy from someone, Wu Qi's Innate Nascent Embryo could keep growing and growing, and could even reach to the height of six thousand feet, let alone six feet tall.
When Haoying Xiong saw Wu Qi's depreciating expression, he thought Wu Qi didn't understand the importance of Innate Nascent Embryo. Thus he quickly explained to Wu Qi about the pros and cons. In the end, with mixed emotions, he even told Wu Qi that his own Innate Nascent Embryo was only three feet and six inches tall, considered a middle tier potential. If one day he were able to make the breakthrough and stepped into Nascent Soul realm, his achievement would not be too significant.
After all, when a cultivator was facing his Heavenly Tribulation, the stronger his Nascent Soul was, the higher chance he would have in transcending the tribulation!
There was only one last test Wu Qi had to go through. Haoying Xiong took out a thumbnail size, perfect square lower tier Water elemental energy stone. The amount of energy stored in this kind of energy stone was fixed, and Haoying Xiong requested Wu Qi to absorb all the energy within it within the time frame of an hour.
Wu Qi exercised the Qi Circulating Technique of Five Elements within his body, holding the energy stone in his palm and began to slowly absorb the thin energy in it. The Qi Circulating Technique of Five Elements was really not a good cultivation technique. Within an hour of time, Wu Qi could only absorb thirty percent of the energy stored within the energy stone, and out of this thirty percent, only nine percent of it could stay within his meridians and transform into innate energy of five elements.
That also meant, Wu Qi could only keep thirty percent of the energy with the technique. Out of all the natural energies he absorbed, he could only transform thirty percent of them into his innate energy.
With regards to this result, Wu Qi really felt that this Qi Circulating Technique of Five Elements was the lousiest cultivating technique. However, Haoying Xiong and few others were nodding their head in satisfaction. By being able to keep thirty percent of energy, it was considered that Wu Qi had a pretty good talent in cultivation. Among all three thousand apprentices under Nie Baihong who owned a Spirit Seed, most of them couldn't even keep twenty percent of energy.
Eventually, Haoying Xiong and the other old men gave out their review for Wu Qi's bone structure and potential. He possessed a Spirit Seed, thus, he could cultivate the Dao. His Spirit Seed was of Water elemental, a perfect candidate to cultivate Azure Water Sword style. His Innate Nascent Embryo was five feet tall, which signified an excellent potential. He could keep thirty percent of the absorbed energy. All of this made him reach to the level of an elite apprentice.
In brief, according to Haoying Xiong, Wu Qi was an elite talent who was suitable to be further developed in Heaven Breaking Sword Sect. As long as no accident happened to him, he could attain the cultivation of Gold Core realm easily. As he had cultivated to Xiantian realm at his young age, thus, it was highly possible that he could form his Gold Core within one hundred years.
Before Haoying Xiong could finish his words, a loud laugh suddenly came from the entrance of the main hall. "Who would have thought to see an excellent talent here? Who is your Master? Why don't you join me, the Sect Elder, and become my apprentice?"
As the laughter kept going on, an old man clad in black robe was seen striding towards them.