Book Eleven — Ascension
The Dark Reverie, Stone Kingdom.
Stone Kingdom was a small kingdom that was situated at the outer area of the Nine Radiance Mountain Range. The kingdom possessed a large scale teleportation formation that led directly to the Nine Radiance Sword Sect, and it was one of the vassal kingdoms of the Nine Radiance Sword Sect.
The teleportation formation was located within Violet Lake City of Stone Kingdom.
At this moment, outside a grand building in Violet Lake City was a group of people that had formed a line, and the line was like a dragon that wound to the side of the streets, causing it to be an extremely magnificent sight.
The people in this line were all cultivators. Their cultivations were actually at the Nether Transformation Realm and above, and there was even no lack of Earthly Immortal Realm experts amongst them. If it was at any normal time, then such a scene would have surely caused the entire Violet Lake City and Stone Kingdom to be shocked.
After all, Stone Kingdom was only a small kingdom, and the strongest powers that resided in its 360 cities could only be ranked as second-rate. Moreover, existences at the Earthly Immortal Realm were sufficient to stand proudly at the peak of the cultivation world of Stone Kingdom.
Yet now, there were actually many Earthly Immortal Realm cultivators gathered in Violet Lake City, and they were lining up according to the rules. This seemed to be extremely unusual.
But the residents of Violet Lake City seemed to have become accustomed to this, and they didn't reveal any surprise.
"Hmph! Your cultivation isn't bad, yet your character is bad. You can only start as an outer court disciple!"
"You want to assume the position of Guest Elder at the 1st level of the Earthly Immortal Realm? How laughable! You can leave if you're unwilling!"
"Perfection-stage of the Nether Transformation Realm. Your natural endowments aren't bad. Very good, you've passed."
Within the grand hall, waves of voices sounded out frequently, and it caused those cultivators that were lined up outside the hall to be unable to help but feel anxious when they heard it.
"Aren't the selection conditions of the Nine Radiance Sword Sect a bit too harsh? Up until now, only three people have become Guest Elders while most of the others had to start out as disciples. If I knew all of this earlier, then I wouldn't have come." Someone couldn't help but grumble in a low voice.
"Alas, you should exercise forbearance, Brother. Presently, the Dark Reverie is in great chaos, and the forces of the Xeno-race has spread to every single inch of land in the Dark Reverie. Cultivators from small sects like us can only seek refuge beneath great powers in order to have a chance at survival." Someone sighed with emotion.
"Exactly. I heard that the Xeno-race army is already on the verge of affecting the territory of our Stone Kingdom now. At this moment, the only thing we can do is seek refuge and protection within the Nine Radiance Sword Sect. As for whether the conditions are harsh or not, it doesn't matter."
"What you said is right. But is anyone amongst all of us here not at the Nether Transformation Realm? Yet now, we have to start from being disciples of the Nine Radiance Sword Sect. This is too humiliating."
"Hmph! What about being disciples? The Nine Radiance Sword Sect is one of the ten great immortal sects. Does any one of their disciples not possesses a superb physique? Look at all of us, we've cultivated for countless years yet only possess cultivations at the Nether Transformation Realm. Our strength is formidable, yet in the long term, we're far from being able to compare with them."
Everyone discussed animatedly. There were those that complained and those that sighed, yet their feelings were actually the same, they were filled with anxiousness and pressure.
Presently, the Dark Reverie was in great chaos, the flames of war raged everywhere, and the alarms of war resounded throughout the lands. In merely a few years, the Xeno-race army had already spread throughout the Dark Reverie like a tide, and it caused the world to be shocked.
Under such circumstances, besides the extraordinary powers like the ten great immortal sects and six lineages of the devil sects, the other powers were unable to protect themselves alone. This caused all the independent cultivators and some clans in the world to draw close to the great powers in the various regions and seek protection.
The Stone Kingdom was situated at the outer area of the Nine Radiance Mountain Range, and it was one of the vassal kingdoms of the Nine Radiance Sword Sect, so its cultivators naturally sought to attach themselves to the Nine Radiance Sword Sect.
This 'Spirit Radiance Hall' in Violet Lake City was a branch of the Nine Radiance Sword Sect, and it was in charge of recruiting disciples and talented individuals. Moreover, because wars were erupting repeatedly, so long a cultivator registered themselves here, the Nine Radiance Sword Sect practically didn't refuse anyone.
Doing this allowed the Nine Radiance Sword Sect to expand its strength in a short period of time to deal with the current situation that was growing tenser with each passing day.
Of course, even though they were recruiting, there were differences. For example, Nether Transformation Realm experts with mediocre natural endowments could only start as new disciples.
On the other hand, those with good natural endowments would be given priority based on their ability, and they would become inner court disciples or core disciples, and it was even possible for them to directly advance to become elders.
"Are we really going to register ourselves here?"
"Actually, we can enter the Nine Radiance Sword Sect directly. So long as we tell them Uncle's name, would anyone dare stop us from entering?"
"When there are rules, we must act according to them."
"Alas, alright. I'll respect your choice. But I still feel that this sort of persistence is very naive. Why are there rules in this world? It's entirely for the sake of restraining the weak. As for the strong, they never believe in any rules, and they only believe their own strength."
"If one's unable to restrain one's own strength, then one will never become strong. This isn't naive."
"It looks to me like you're unwilling to rely on Uncle's power and influence, right?"
"I just don't want to disappoint him."
"Right, if we rely on our background to bully others, then we would be no different from those good for nothing disciples. I remember my father saying that Uncle hates this sort of people the most."
At this moment, there were two young men in line at the end of the line, and they were discussing in low voices.
The young man on the left had a tall and robust figure. His nose was straight and high, and he possessed a heroic bearing. His fierce eyes were profound like stars, and he revealed a heavy and ferocious imposing aura.
The young man on the right was tranquil and composed instead. He was handsome and carried a tranquil expression between his brows. His face could even be described as beautiful, and it could cause most women to feel envy.
But every single move he made wasn't feminine, and it instead revealed a warm and peaceful aura that caused others to very easily feel close to him.
These two young men had completely different bearings, yet they both possessed imposing appearances and were extraordinary. They were like dragons amongst men, and they seemed to be extraordinary figures at first glance. Fortunately, they stood at the end of the line, and they didn't draw too much attention.
At sunset, it was finally their turn, and they entered into Spirit Radiance Hall one after the other.
In the entire hall was only a single table at the center, and behind the table was a grey robed old man that was resting with his eyes closed.
At the sides of the hall was a few more old figures that sat cross-legged there with indifferent expressions and formidable auras, and they were actually all at the Earthly Immortal Realm!
Before the entrance to the hall was a few more young disciples, and they were in charge of the matters of recruitment.
"Origin, place of birth, name, cultivation." A disciple of the Nine Radiance Sword Sect couldn't help but frown when he saw it was two young men that entered, and he was slightly impatient.
He was called Sun Chuan, and he was an inner court disciple of the Nine Radiance Sword Sect. He'd received countless cultivators in the past few days, and there was no lack of Earthly Immortal Realm experts amongst them, so how could he possibly take two young men seriously?
Coupled with the sky was already dark and it was about time to rest, thus his attitude was slightly perfunctory.
"Darchu Dynasty, Pine Mist City's Chen Clan, Chen Yu, perfection-stage of the Rebirth Realm." The tall, robust, and heroic young man spoke casually.
Surprisingly, this young man was Chen Hao's son and Chen Xi's nephew, Chen Yu!
There was no need to guess, the extraordinary and handsome young man by Chen Yu's side was naturally Chen An.
"Darchu Dynasty?" Sun Chuan raised his head with a dazed expression while he pondered bitterly yet was unable to recall if such a dynasty existed in the Dark Reverie. As for the Pine Mist City's Chen Clan, he had never heard of it.
But all of this wasn't important, the important thing was when he found out that the young man's cultivation was only at the Rebirth Realm, Sun Chuan's expression sank immediately.
He waved his hand and said impatiently, "Come back again tomorrow. Oh, if I knew both of you were only at the Rebirth Realm, I wouldn't have allowed the two of you to enter. Isn't this just delaying our rest time?"
Chen Yu didn't become unhappy from this, and he said with a smile instead, "If I'm not wrong, you're only at the Golden Core Realm, right?"
Sun Chuan's expression sank immediately. In the past few days, he'd encountered many Earthly Immortal Realm experts that felt their cultivations were formidable and didn't take him seriously, and some even caused trouble in the hall. In the end, they were fiercely crushed and thrown out of the hall like dead dogs.
From then onward, no one dared to look down upon any one of them because they were true disciples of the Nine Radiance Sword Sect. No matter how low their cultivations were, they weren't individuals that anyone could look down on or humiliate.
Now, when he saw this young man at the Rebirth Realm actually dared to pull a tiger's whiskers, Sun Chuan's attitude changed instantaneously. He crossed his arms before his chest while he revealed an arrogant and disdainful expression, and it even carried a wisp of contempt and pity as he said, "What? Are you trying to be unreasonable in my Spirit Radiance Hall?"
As soon as these words were spoken, the other disciples nearby shot their gazes over in succession, and they seemed as if they were waiting to watch a show.
The smile on Chen Yu's face grew wider when he saw this, and he revealed a mouthful of snow white teeth as he said frankly, "You wouldn't be someone that's inclined to cruelly oppress others, right? I only pointed out that your cultivation is inferior to mine, and I was only speaking the truth, so how did I act unreasonably?"
"Hmph! I asked you two to leave, so leave! What's with all the nonsense? If you continue to be unreasonable, then prepare to bear the consequences!" Sun Chuan's expression stiffened, and then he was even more infuriated and berated in a fierce voice.
Now, even Chen An couldn't watch on any longer, and he said with a frown. "We're being unreasonable?"
Sun Chuan sneered. He was very well aware that it was utterly impossible to do anything to these two young men by relying solely on himself and the other disciples.
Thus in the next moment, he cleared his throat and said loudly, "You're unwilling to admit that you're being unreasonable? Bastards! Let me ask the both of you, where's the Darchu Dynasty? What the hell is the Pine Mist City's Chen Clan? Even if we dig three feet into the ground of the Dark Reverie, it would probably be impossible to find it, right? I even have reason to suspect that both of you have falsified your identities and intend to sneak into my Nine Radiance Sword Sect!"
His voice was so loud that it clearly reverberated throughout every single inch of space in the hall.
All of the young disciples came to a sudden understanding when they heard this, and they roared with laughter while revealing expressions of disdain. These two fellows are really something. If your origins aren't good, then don't declare it. Once these actions of blowing your own trumpet is uncovered by another, how embarrassing would it be?
However, amidst this disorder, no one noticed that the old man who'd been resting with his eyes closed behind the table suddenly opened his eyes, and he shot his gaze onto Chen Yu and Chen An.
Especially when he saw Chen An's appearance, his aged face couldn't help but be slightly stunned, and he felt that Chen An's face was familiar as if he'd seen it before.