Chu Yang was stunned — For an array to be set up until it took form actually required as long as 999 years!
The high priest continued, "Once this array is complete, it shall cover all that is under the sky! Right now, the fate energy of all pharmacists in the world is converging here from all over the Lower, Middle and Upper Three Heavens! There are a grand total of 810,000 Heavenly Treasures from the Lower, Middle and Upper Three Heavens here!"
"At the moment, only Tianji City is not part of the array!"
"Everyone, this array and this competition shall decide the fate of the Nine Heavens!"
When the high priest reached this part of his speech, he paused and swept his line of vision across the ten pharmacists . He then continued, "The Great Heavens-Reversing Array is the most impregnable fort in the world! Therefore, the finals shall be held here!"
"We have already examined everyone's elixir refining proficiency in the semi-finals . It can be said that anyone among you, as long as you can win the spot of champion, will be able to undertake the task of forging the Heaven Nourishing Jade! As such, your proficiency in elixir refining will not be examined again . "
"The lotuses atop these pillars before you house the channels of fate energy . In the middle is the flower bud! Everyone may take a seat on the pillars now . The first to catalyze the bud of fate energy to bloom completely will be the one with the strongest fate energy and in turn, the champion!"
When the high priest finished…
…everyone was in an uproar!
Looking at everyone's surprised reactions, Chu Yang understood at once — Looked like they were also unaware of the examination method this time . Either that or… it was outside of their expectations .
And indeed, the pharmacists of the Nine Super Clans were not expecting this at all!
The finals of the past Medicine Banquets had always been an extremely difficult herb dissection test!
There were even a few who had done a lot of practice beforehand in preparation for it .
Who knew that in this critical moment, the Medicine Valley would suddenly change their examination method?
This certainly threw everyone off!
"You may be rather surprised and that is to be expected . The past Medicine Banquets were indeed like what your seniors have told you, and we have never diverged from it . However, the competition this time is the final round of these past ten thousand years!"
The high priest had a broad smile on his face, like a sly fox . Even the wrinkles on his face looked like they were smiling . "Therefore, the examination method this time is completely different from the past! The competition is of extreme importance this time!"
"And that is why you will be pitted against each other in terms of fate energy in these finals!"
"It has nothing to do with cultivation or mental energy, nor does it have anything to do with your identity and status, and even less to do with your experience! All that matters is fate energy alone! The one with the strongest fate energy among you will be the champion! He will then manipulate and use the thousand-years fate energy to combine and merge 810,000 types of Heavenly Treasures in one medicine stove! And that will be the strongest and most powerful Heaven Nourishing Jade!"
"Only he who possesses exceptional fate energy is worthy of forging the Heaven Nourishing Jade this time!"
The high priest said calmly, "I must remind everyone that the great array that we are using this time is linked to the heavens and earth! Even if you are not the champion, you need to wait till the lotus of fate energy has bloomed before you can stop! Should anyone try anything funny, he will be erased on the spot!"
"And now I invite everyone to begin! Please step onto the top of the pillar before you . Once everyone is in position, I will activate the array!"
The high priest gave his command .
Chu Yang was rather flabbergasted .
The Sword Spirit in the Nine Tribulations Space also didn't know whether to laugh or to cry .
To think he was wondering just what the finals of the Medicine Banquet would be like . So they were just competing who had the strongest fate energy!
If that was the case… In this world, whose fate energy could be compared to that of the Nine Tribulations Sword Master?
Even an emperor in the human world or the Dharma Supreme of the Law-enforcement unit could never compare to the Nine Tribulations Sword Master when it came to the strength of fate energy!
For Chu Yang to participate in a competition where the finals were like this…
Wasn't this purely bullying others?
The ten pharmacists looked at each other, nobody making the first move .
They all wanted to see what would happen once someone took their seat .
With a bright and cheerful laugh, Chu Yang's figure rose into the air, light as a feather . He flew toward the pillar right in the middle and landed on it, his black robes fluttering . As he stepped onto the pillar, he said lightly, "Since no one wants to start, then I shall be first… to start!"
He deliberately paused at the last three words .
Such that when people heard him, they would have the impression that what he had said was —'Then I shall be first!'
What did being first signify?
Enraged, all the other pharmacists immediately soared into the air toward the top of the pillars .
After Chu Yang landed, he saw a stone seat within the lotus, which was meant for use during meditation . In front of the stone seat was a dense cloud of mist in the form of a pristine white flower bud . It had yet to materialize, as if it would disperse with just a breeze .
Chu Yang did not hesitate any further . He took a couple of steps forward and immediately sat on the stone seat .
Upon seeing that everyone had taken their seats, the high priest declared with a stern expression, "Array! Activate!"
All the Supreme Martial Artists outside moved at the same time, each of them projecting a blast of energy that contained their full power at a spot in the heavens right above them .
Several waves of energy surged toward the heavens with an unstoppable force so strong that it could collapse the mountains and ravage the oceans!
The energy waves converged in the same spot!
Among the misty blur of snow high above, a blinding white light flashed and spread strong and fast in the sky!
The array and competition venue suddenly disappeared completely from everyone's sight .
In that split second, Chu Yang felt like the grand hall had vanished all of a sudden .
His surroundings were completely dark!
And everything around him had also vanished!
He felt like he was in an incredibly vast and endless starry night sky, seated atop a gigantic white lotus, with the boundless galaxy around him!
The stars twinkled around him .
The place he was in looked as if it was the core of the whole universe!
Suddenly, misty wisps started to emanate from Chu Yang . They got increasingly thicker and denser, flooding into the flower bud in front of him that had yet to materialize .
The next moment, Chu Yang felt like there was a thunderstorm on top of him but when he opened his eyes and looked up, nothing was there . Yet when he shut his eyes again, that feeling of being surrounded by thunder and lightning came back immediately!
Wisps of pristine white mist converged from all directions . There were easily thousands of them, and as more and more came, they became tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions… tens of millions…
Just like rivers running into the ocean, they poured into the flower bud in front of Chu Yang…
The flower bud started to visibly become more and more distinct, until it finally materialized . Then, a lush green vine, covered with thin hair and tiny thorns unique to a lotus stem, slowly extended from beneath the flower bud . It pushed against the flower bud on top and continued to extend upward . Within a couple of minutes, it actually grew into a thickness of several meters and a height of more than 300 meters!
At this point, at the top of the stem, the flower bud that had already materialized started to gradually expand, becoming bigger and bigger…
At the stone stage, the high priest couldn't help but inhale a sharp intake of breath . "What strong and powerful fate energy this Chu Yang has!"
From where he was, he could see the lotus on the pillar where Chu Yang was, expanding and growing to a thickness of several meters and rising several hundreds of meters into the air . On the other hand, the lotuses in front of the other nine pharmacists only had stems the thickness of a finger supporting a pitifully tiny flower bud that had not even fully materialized .
This was totally a one-sided competition!
There was simply no comparison at all!
"Oh, this is the Great Heavenly Fate Array!" exclaimed the Sword Spirit within the Nine Tribulations Space as he made the realization, "I was wondering what kind of mysterious array this was, so that's what it is… It uses the fate energy of pharmacists, who save countless lives in the world, to forge the Heaven Nourishing Jade and intercept the fate energy of the Nine Tribulations Sword Master, in order to repair that gap in the heavens and earth!"
A puzzled Chu Yang asked, "Haven't any of the previous Nine Tribulations Sword Masters participated in the Medicine Banquet?"
"Not at all . " The Sword Spirit had a wry smile on his face . "Not every Nine Tribulations Sword Master is a weirdo like you . Under normal circumstances, the Nine Tribulations Sword Master is not in the Upper Three Heavens during the period of the Medicine Banquet . This is because all the Nine Tribulations Sword Masters would be in a long coma after experiencing mental trauma at the Lake of Despair…"
"And during this period of time, the Nine Heavens would be closed . Only after the Nine Tribulations Sword Master has gone through another period of training and experience can he, through a chance encounter, secretly enter the Upper Three Heavens while it's still closed and embark on his journey as the Nine Tribulations Sword Master . "
"If nothing out of the norm had happened, right now you should have been in the Middle Three Heavens too . However… you have parents whom you had been separated from since you were young . This is really so damn… and they had to find you at the moment when you became comatose… and bring you back to the Upper Three Heavens… This is totally something that had never happened to any of the previous Nine Tribulations Sword Masters!"
Chu Yang raised his eyebrows . "I see, so that's what it was . Then what is this Great Heavenly Fate Array? How should I deal with it?"
"The Great Heavenly Fate Array goes against the natural law of order of the heavens to steal fate energy," The Sword Spirit explained, "It uses the power of the array to communicate with the universe, and through the power of the universe, compress and steal the fate energy of the Nine Tribulations Sword Master and the Nine Tribulations to nourish the heavens . "
"You yourself are the Nine Tribulations Sword Master, so how would it be possible for you to steal your own fate energy in this array? On the contrary, because you are catalyzing the fate energy here, you can instead intercept the fate energy of the Nine Super Clans and transfer them to your brothers . "
The Sword Spirit sighed deeply . "This is truly the work of destiny… I've never seen something as f*cked up as this… They went through so much for a thousand years, with tens of thousands of people working toward a single goal, only to offer the benefits with both hands to someone else… and they aren't even aware . "
"Intercept the fate energy of the Nine Super Clans?" Chu Yang's eyes brightened . "How do I do that?"
The Sword Spirit replied, "Later, at the height of the lotus' bloom, recite the names of the Nine Tribulations in your mind . By borrowing the power of the array that goes against the natural law of order of the heavens, it will naturally extract the fate energy from the eye of the array and transfer it to them . "
"Who are the Nine Tribulations?" asked Chu Yang with a frown .
His question stunned the Sword Spirit so much that he was speechless for quite some time . "You… As the Nine Tribulations Sword Master, you don't know who your Nine Tribulations are?"
Chu Yang rolled his eyes . "How should I know?"
The Sword Spirit was completely defeated by him . "Aren't Gu Duxing, Dong Wushang and the others your Nine Tribulations?"
He continued with an air of exasperation, "Gu Duxing is sharp and lonesome, he's the sword tip; Dong Wushang is mighty, domineering and sturdy, he's the body of the sword; Ao Xieyun is cold, arrogant and sharp, he's the edge of the sword . Mo Tianji is cunning and scheming, the Master of Calculation and Manipulation, he's the soul of the sword . Luo Kedi defends and guards you, he's the cross-guard of the sword; Rui Butong is agile and varied, he's the tang of the sword; Xie Danqiong's way of handling things is steady and earnest, he's the sword pommel; Ji Mo, though comedic, is by nature calm and steady with a steadfast loyalty, he's the sword hilt . As for the sword embellishment, he can be specified by the Sword Master!"
Chu Yang understood at last . "I see . "
"When the time comes, you need only to recite their names in your mind and it will naturally split the flow of fate energy of the Nine Super Clans!" the Sword Spirit said enthusiastically .
"Will the split of the fate energy be seen through? Can the Heaven Nourishing Jade still be forged successfully?" Chu Yang asked .
"The Great Heavenly Fate Array goes against the natural law of order of the heavens, how can it be seen through by people? Besides, there is no change in the fate energy of the pharmacists in the world . The only ones related to you are the first Nine Tribulations and the last Nine Tribulations, what has it got to do with the Heaven Nourishing Jade…" answered the Sword Spirit, rolling his eyes .