Most of the inner-disciple candidates couldn’t help but relax after they reached the main hall. Who knew what kind of problems each of them had encountered in the second part of the exam, but there were actually many people who were injured.
At this moment, Hu YuTian’s normally gloomy face had an even larger black cloud surrounding it. One could sense the low pressure his body was emanating even without approaching him.
Wei Qing’s face had the same haughty expression as before. However, he would occasionally sneak glances at Xu ZiYan. Then, as if realizing there was a possibility of Xu ZiYan noticing his actions, he would suddenly turn his head away……
Xiahou Lian was still beaming like always, looking as if she had effortlessly passed the second round. And as for that seemingly very cute but in reality very dangerous little girl, she was currently pouting in a sulky manner.
Xu ZiYan swept his gaze around in a circle before he finally found Yu Hao in an unremarkable corner. Last time, Yu Hao reached the foot of the mountain only a step slower than the Xu family brothers. However, this time, he was the seventh person that arrived at the main hall.
In addition, Xu ZiYan realized something after carefully observing everyone. Among the people who made it here, only a minority had the same strings as his tied onto their arms or legs. It seemed like the reason the original Xu ZiYan didn’t get this kind of ‘special treatment’ in his last life was because his results had been too ordinary.
Regarding Yu Hao, don’t just look at how his behaviour was sneaky and how his appearance wasn’t the most astonishing. This guy was truly an expert at collecting information. Perhaps it was because he innately possessed sensitivity to all kinds of information, but in the near future, he would establish the largest intelligence agency in Xuan Yu region——Qian Wen1 Pavilion.
It was a pity the original Xu ZiYan didn’t know who the boss behind Qian Wen Pavilion was. However, based on Yu Hao’s strength, it was impossible for him to be the real boss of that place.
Should he recruit Yu Hao to his side?
Xu ZiYan was somewhat hesitant over this. The current Yu Hao hadn’t displayed any abilities. On the contrary, since the martial arts he practiced wasn’t suitable for combat, he didn’t have much status at Hu YuTian’s side. If Xu ZiYan wanted to entice him to his own side, now was the best time to do it.
No one understood the importance of information better than him, and the way no one in the whole Xuan Yu region dared to offend the boss of Qian Wen Pavilion during the later half of the story was the best fact supporting that.
One could find relevant information about all kinds of heavenly materials and treasures, secret realms and legendary immortal abodes, and practically anything found in the Xuan Yu region from Qian Wen Pavilion.
But of course, the more precious the treasure was, the more expensive the price would be for the information. Reportedly, there was someone who had asked about a secret realm hidden in the sea. He spent all their money to purchase a map of that secret realm. Afterwards, he luckily managed to return. In a single month, he managed to jump from the early stage to the later stage of Golden Core Formation realm, so much that he was now just a single step away from the Nascent Soul realm.
After the news about that spread, the entire Xuan Yu region kicked up a fuss. Since then, no one questioned the validity of Qian Wen Pavilion’s information. As long as one had the money, they would be able to buy any kind of information.
The extremely lucky person within the rumours was precisely the novel’s protagonist, Bai Hua. In addition, not only did he obtain a great amount of medicinal pellets that could increase one’s cultivation realm from this trip, he also caught a sea beast to be his spiritual pet.
Afterwards, that Sea Dragon2 saved Bai Hua from calamity numerous times during his various adventures.
It was decided!
He could think more about all of this after he recruited Yu Hao to his side!
Who knew where Qian Wen Pavilion’s boss was right now? If Xu ZiYan made a move this early on, for all he knew, the future Qian Wen Pavilion would be his property!
Xu ZiYan hadn’t hesitated for long before he made up his mind.
Although the behind-the-scenes boss of Qian Wen Pavilion hadn’t been mentioned throughout the whole novel or within the original Xu ZiYan’s memories, one could deduce from Yu Hao’s abrupt rise in power that the boss behind him wasn’t much older than him. Perhaps their age might even be similar to Xu ZiYan’s.
This also meant that Xu ZiYan’s move to recruit Yu Hao definitely wouldn’t cause that person to take revenge on him. After all, that ‘boss’ may not have even discovered Yu Hao yet.
After figuring out this, Xu ZiYan shifted his gaze toward Yu Hao. When the boy glanced at him, he smiled slightly as he nodded at him.
Yu Hao’s expression froze for a moment, before he silently twisted his neck and looked away……
Xu ZiYan rubbed his nose and sweatdropped. He had completely forgotten how he had just robbed Yu Hao in the previous task.
After everyone arrived, there were less than approximately 30 candidates remaining. If these people could pass the third part of the exam, then they would become Liu Guang Sect’s inner-sect disciples. The disciple exam for Liu Guang Sect was admittedly pretty hard. However, the moment they passed, they could enjoy the treatment of the inner-sect disciples and obtain all kinds of resources according to their capabilities. Their benefits were absolutely incomparable to what the average outer-sect disciples received.
After the clock sounded three times, the door to the main palace hall slowly opened. Numerous cultivators wearing all kinds of clothes filed out of the building.
The person at the front of the line was a pale-faced middle-aged man without a beard who wore a bright red chang pao3. His expression looked very kind and his eyes were clear. The gaze he used to look at every one seemed very gentle.
Xu ZiYan knew that this was none other than the Liu Guang Sect’s Sect Leader—— WuChen DaoJun4.
As WuChen DaoJun watched these outstanding and vigourous youngsters, he couldn’t help but reveal a smile on his face. In the future, these people would all become the pillars of Liu Guang Sect’s next generation. It was precisely because they existed that the Liu Guang Sect would be able to continue its unending growth as a Sect.
“Since ye were able to pass through Li Chen Bridge, ye have become inner-sect disciples of my Liu Guang Sect. The purpose of the third part of the exam is to better everyone’s wisdom. The longer ye persevere, the more benefits ye shall gain.” WuChen DaoJun’s short speech made everyone reveal surprised expressions.
But right after their shock, they became very excited. So, it turned out that the third part of the exam wasn’t actually a test and was rather something that would give them benefits. In other words, they were already inner-sect disciples of Liu Guang Sect.
All the candidates had happy and cheery expressions on their faces. Those who knew each other began sending out their mutual congratulations.
Although Xu ZiYan was also smiling, there weren’t any hints of relaxation within his gaze. On the contrary, his eyes seemed even more grave.
When WuChen DaoJun saw how happy the candidates were, he merely smiled brightly before standing to the side. Although the Elders surrounding him also had a smile on their faces, there were slight differences between them.
“Alright, let’s get ready to begin the third part,” WuChen DaoJun saw how most of the candidates had calmed down, and thus spoke up in a warm voice.
Because of his gesture, all of the candidates began promptly clearing out an open space in front of the main palace hall. They stood on the stairs of the side palace hall, anxiously waiting as they watched WuChen DaoJun.
WuChen DaoJun pinched his fingers to activate a secret martial arts technique. Immediately, the spiritual energy in the open space began bubbling forward as it began emitting a dim blue light. As the blue light grew stronger, a lot of complicated patterns began appearing on the slabs of glossy limestone currently present.
The blue light flashed once before vanishing, which also caused the decorative patterns to disappear in an instant, as if they were flowers of Dutchman’s Pipe Cactus5The open space was still there. However, nobody knew exactly when, but delicate threads of mist had appeared on top of the space. In addition, it hadn’t taken long for the mist to completely conceal the open space.
“Enter. Please bear in mind that the longer ye persist, the more benefits ye shall gain.” WuChen DaoJun’s expression grew solemn as he seriously reminded everyone.
The spiritual array he had just activated was something fundamental that was passed down for generations within the Liu Guang Sect. Using this spiritual array was a complicated matter as it served many different purposes.
Sharpening one’s wisdom was only one of those functions. The more important function was that this spiritual array had the ability to discern whether or not any of these disciples were possessed or controlled by an outsider. They implemented this part of the exam to prevent bestial cultivators or cultivators from a demonic sect from planting their spies in the Liu Guang Sect. After all, if any of these inner-sect disciples were controlled by others, the moment Liu Guang Sect waged war again bestial cultivators, the damage suffered because of spies would be beyond measure.
In addition to the functions previously mentioned, this spiritual array could also examine the disciples’ spiritual veins and spiritual bodies. Examining spiritual veins was rather easy, but it was hard to get a good look at one’s spiritual body. A person that possessed a spiritual body, had potential that definitely wouldn’t lose to someone who possessed a Heavenly spiritual vein.
As he stared at that lump of dense smoke, Xu ZiYan lowered his voice and spoke to Xu ZiRong, “After you go in, you must persevere for as long as possible.”
He was afraid that Xu ZiRong wouldn’t be able to preserve for long, so he couldn’t help but stress the importance of this to him once again. Although staying inside that array was very painful, the benefits they would gain couldn’t even be described with words.
When the original Xu ZiYan experienced this, because he hadn’t suffered any torment ever since he was young, he only stayed in the array for a bit before leaving it. However, after he found out from other people what the array did, he regretted this for an entire half-year.
Xu ZiRong lightly nodded his head. After meeting that blue-robed man from before, the contempt he had toward the Liu Guang Sect had long vanished without a trace.
This was an enormous Sect that had thrived for a millennium. In his last life, Xu ZiRong had actually believed that the Blood Devil’s Castle he had built himself was capable of confronting this kind of large Sect. It was simply a huge joke.
According to the achievements he obtained in the last two parts of the exam, Xu ZiYan was fully worthy of being the first person to enter the spiritual array.
There were a lot of people who felt disgusted that someone like him, who had popped out of nowhere, ended up becoming the top candidate of this year’s inner-sect disciple exam.
This was especially the case for the teenagers who really admired Wei Qing, Xiahou Lian, and Hu TianYu. To them, Xu ZiYan was nothing more than a lucky bastard.
Xu ZiYan began mentally encouraging himself. Despite how he had long known what was going to happen in the spiritual array, Xu ZiYan was still very anxious.
He mocked himself in his heart. At times like this, it would have been better had he went in completely ignorant. After all, at the very least, he wouldn’t be this nervous.
Composing himself and receiving another one of Xu ZiRong’s worshipping gazes, Xu ZiYan took firm steps with his head high and his chest out—— and then entered the spiritual array.
The split-second he entered the fog, his figure faded away. Then, he immediately appeared in the middle of an empty wilderness.
Even though he knew this was one of the functions of the spiritual array, Xu ZiYan was still shocked by how real his surroundings looked.
He leaned down to grab a handful of sandy soil. The bits and pieces of the sand began sliding through the spaces between his fingers and falling onto the ground. The feeling of the coarse sand granules truly felt incomparably real, and he couldn’t even see the smallest trace of imitation.
At the end of the distant sky stood an enormous, tall, and erect stone statue that reached through the clouds as it towered over the wasteland. It was lofty and extended upwards in a boundless manner. At first glance, one’s eyes would be faintly attracted there.
“Let’s stake it all!” Xu ZiYan cursed quietly. Don’t be misled by how tranquil and serene the place currently looked. He knew that the moment he took a step forward, what followed next would be an extremely dangerous attack.
Xu ZiYan raised his foot to take his first step——Immediately, the weather of the heavens and earth began changing.
The azure sky free of clouds from before seemed to have been split apart by a sudden ray of thunder. In a flash, darkness descended as screaming gales of wind began tormenting the wasteland.
Xu ZiYan began walking forward as the wind worked against him. His footsteps was extremely quick. Although the wind was very strong, it was at best high resistance force. He wouldn’t dare to waste his spiritual energy shield against the strong gales of wind.
In a single breath, he rushed a hundred meters forward. The wind was becoming increasingly stronger, and the grains of sand whipped up by the gales felt the same as knife cuts as they hit his face. They made many gashes of blood.
Xu ZiYan continued to rush forward with his head lowered as both of his hands protected his face. The stronger the wind, the bigger the rocks it could blow up. Just now, a rock the size of his fist flew past his forehead. If it wasn’t for his quick reflexes and how he had finally activated his spiritual energy shield, his head might have been bleeding profusely now.
- 千 (qiān) — thousand, 闻 (wén) — news.
- I took liberties with this translation. The raws are 蛟龙 (jiāo lóng), which is a type of legendary dragon that has the ability to control rain and floods.
- 长袍 (cháng páo) — traditional Chinese men’s robes.
- I’m……actually not sure if DaoJun is a title or not. If it’s a title, it’ll be something like Sect Master, etc. If it’s not a title, then its an extremely weird name……
- This is the Epiphyllum oxypetalum, also called “Queen of the Night”. Like what its name suggests, they boast beautiful flowers that blooms rarely and only at night, and its flowers wilt before dawn.