Chapter 51 - Class Begins!
The giant man's threatening words created a turmoil in the young candidate's minds. Some found themselves filled with hope mixed with expectancy and dreams of grandeur, and some were apparently filled with great shock. As for Shi Mu, he undoubtedly belonged to the first group.
"One thing to remember, you've still got to obey some rules, despite the encouragement of competition. You'll get a handbook of our sect's rule later, and I would encourage you to read it.. Better yet, memorize every word of it, and you'll probably thank me later. Besides, as a rule, newcomers don't compete with senior disciples, so everyone will have a year free from challenges. It means that, for this one year, you can avoid any competition in our sect and no one can challenge you for any reason. If anyone really forces you to do something, just go to the Law Enforcement Agency and ask for help. But if you are willing to compete or make an appeal without any proof, that will be a different story." The last few words Wild Zhou spoke were full of strange overtones, and he gave the group a meaningful look. Which one of the chosen candidates for the Black Tortoise sect was not intelligent enough to detect his subtle glances? Again, the candidates were filled with terror.
"Disciples in our sect are roughly divided into three grades: primary, junior and senior, each grade with its own ranks. The resource distribution largely depends on your grade and rank. You can only challenge disciples in the same grade with you in every season's match, but in the annual competitions you can challenge anyone you want. Every new disciple is in primary grade, don't get lazy, cause we have countless laborers, who were once disciples, and every year, after the competition, our leaders will choose the thirty strongest men from the laborers to replace the thirty lowest ranked disciples in primary grade. Hehe, maybe one of you will lose his position and be forced to do manual work." Wild Zhou grinned broadly with a malicious look.
Shi Mu realized what was up immediately, and he was shocked by the unexpected cruelty of the rules. Which disciple, even the most unambitious one, would slack under such merciless rules? The only way out was to practice desperately to improve one's strengths.
More people had nervous looks on their faces after being given the kind "advice".
"Well, I have given you my best advice. You can read the handbook yourself to learn about the matches and competitions as well as ranks and challenges. As usual, I will answer three questions from you. Now let's begin." The giant man stroked his jaw and declared.
"Three questions? Then I want to know which level brother Zhou is at and what his grade and rank is?"A young man in the group loudly asked the first question.
Shi Mu immediately focused his attention on this smart question, which should give one a rough idea of the sect's general strength.
"Hehe, a tricky question. I don't mind. I am at the intermediate stage of Houtian level, and I rank 49th in the junior grade."Wild Zhou burst into laughter and unexpectedly told them his number.
"How many disciples does our sect have and how many are there in each grade?" A clear voice came, and it was from a young shy-looking girl.
"Different grades differ greatly in numbers. The senior grade has only ten disciples, and they have a position equal to that of the Favored Disciples in other sects. The junior grade has 108 disciples, and as for the primary grade, I don't have all day to count them, but probably around a thousand, and in recent years we have had more and more candidates, so the number may increase to two thousand in the next few years." The giant man answered casually, with his hand on his jaw.
After the two answers, there was a disturbance in the candidates, who were doing their best to figure out their place in this sect.
"Brother Zhou, I want to know if our sect has a preference for bloodline warriors? After all, they are usually more talented than ordinary warriors." Shi Mu suddenly threw out a third question, which drew close attention from several young candidates, all fixing their eyes on Wild Zhou without a blink.
"Preference? Do you know how many bloodline warriors are there among the thirteen mountain hosts, eight elders and two vice bosses in our sect? Only three. And the eldest master, who has the greatest strength in our sect, and has almost neared the Earth Grade, is not a bloodline warrior at all. He was not extraordinarily gifted and worked his way up from an ordinary disciple. Well, that's not to say the talented ones are ignored in our sect. The Xiantian masters will make their appearance in the annual competitions, to find some talented disciples to teach personally, and there have been some bloodline warriors who jumped in rank due to this. Besides, there is a Bloodline Sutras House, built for bloodline warriors, where we store books of special arts for bloodline warriors. And the amount of Black Fire tokens you must pay to exchange for those arts is just half the cost required for ordinary arts." The giant man swung his hand and answered lightly.
"Thank you for the information, brother Zhou."Shi Mu nodded and then shut his mouth. The other rapt listeners also stored the name Bloodline Sutras House in their minds.
"Now that I have answered three questions, let's move on. Have you seen the stone house over there? It contains the residences for new disciples, most of which are empty. You can choose one to live in, just as you like, afterwards. Now, follow me to receive your uniforms and one year's ration of resources."
Wild Zhou pointed to the small houses squatting farthest from the mountains, then grabbed his mace and turned around and lead them away from the square.
After a few minutes of walking they reached a small building. Wild Zhou stood in front of the young candidates - each holding a package in their hands. Coldly he said his last words,
"One last piece of advice as a farewell gift. The Black Fire Token, which is rationed to you only once a month, is the most important resource for every disciple, no matter what grade you are in. You can exchange for the arts you want with the tokens. Without them, people will walk all over you" This said, the giant man threw his mace over his shoulder before he left without any hesitation.
When he left, the young candidates helpless for a moment, like infants deserted by their father. However, Shi Mu did not linger on the fatherly "care" of Wild Zhou. He felt for the stick-like thing in his bag, suddenly understanding something, and walked over to the stone houses, which Wild Zhou pointed at earlier. At this moment, the other candidates also came to themselves and followed Shi Mu like a frenzy, some hot-tempered young men even ran to overtake him.