Chapter 23: When Large Harvest Incurs Losses
Translator: Subudai11 Editor: Chrissy
For many years, Spirit Sword Sect did not hold an Immortal Gathering. But once they held it, they got a shockingly big harvest of talents!
There was a total of seventeen participants who succeeded in passing the Peach Blossom Village into the other four branches of the trials. Except for the two who had given up early, all the other fifteen participants passed the trials thanks to Wang Lu. Even Hai Yunfan, Zhu Qin, Wang Zhong et al., after the realms were shattered, managed to climb out of an ice hole and went all the way to the finish line.
Under a single sword strike, the four realms of the Immortal Path were pierced through. The Immortal Path had basically been cut in half, clearing the path for all the participants.
This happy accident caused the participants to feel giddy with excitement. But on the other side, the Spirit Sword Sect descended into a cacophony of quarrel internally. If the previous Peach Blossom Village problem was simply suffering from scabies, then this unexpected "harvest" of new disciples meant suffering from serious injury! Such a big problem like this could not be decided by the Elder of the Misty Peak alone. Thus, the elders brought their quarrel to the Sect Leader at the Stellar Peak of the Spirit Sword Sect.
On this Stellar Peak, inside a small hut where the Sect Leader discussed official business, all nine of the current Elders of the Heavenly Sword Hall congregated in one room.
The Head Elder, which was also the Sect Leader, Feng Yin, remained silent while sitting in repose with eyes closed. On the other hand, the second Elder, Liu Xian, was anything but calm. He repeatedly slammed the armrest as he roared.
"I told you this woman should not be allowed to mess things up! That idiot's brain is basically damaged! You guys keep on indulging her whims, believing in her 'innovation' to humanize the trial nonsense! And what do we have in the end if not trouble? Tell me, how are we going to solve this!"
The other elders each showed different expression, but none of them wanted to deal with this mess.
Only one vivacious girl sitting at the end opened her mouth to be a mediator. "Second Martial Brother, calm down. No matter how bad the situation is, you are the Master of the inner court disciples, so you should assert self-control because you are their role model. Let alone blaming Fifth Martial Sister at this time is not going to solve the problem."
Seeing her pretty face that was smiling at him, Liu Xuan couldn't bring himself to gave a harsh reply to her. He just shook his head and complained, "Junior Martial Sister, that's easy for you to say because you're not the one dealing with the headache..."
The girl tittered. "Hehe, who told you to be the Elder of the Misty Peak, while I am just the Elder of the Carefree Peak. From what I see, you could just accept them all. It just so happens that our Spirit Sword Sect has been lacking in talents for quite a while, and accepting fifteen new people will make up for it."
Liu Xian raised his eyebrows and stared at her. "Don't make a joke, Junior Martial Sister! In hundred of years, the number of disciples in the Misty Peak has never been more than thirty-four people! If I take fifteen newcomers, wouldn't it be a total chaos!? Our initial plan was to weed out ten or so participants, leaving behind the best three or four among them... But because of that woman's meddling, we are now in this mess!"
The Sixth Elder, who has been sitting in repose with closed eyes all this time, slowly opened his eyes and said, "If nothing else, our sect cannot afford to support fifteen new inner court disciples. Although our sect has ample resources, we can't just squander them away."
Liu Xian repeatedly nodded and then said to Junior Martial Sister Hua Yun, "See, even Junior Martial Brother Lu Li said that. Junior Martial Sister, what other arguments do you have?"
Junior Martial Sister stuck out her tongue and said, "Since the one responsible for the Sect finance has spoken, what else could I, as a person who needs to rely on his generousness, say? If I provoke Senior Martial Brother Lu Li, he might cut the funding of my Carefree Peak for this year."
Not knowing whether to laugh or to cry, Lu Li said, "Junior Martial Sister, when did I ever cut the funding of your Peak? Whenever you ask for money, when did I ever refuse?"
"Humph, last time when I wanted to buy the Stellar Aurora Diamond?"
"... How could I let you buy your personal jewelry using the sect's money!?"
At this time, the Head Elder finally could not stand the quarrel anymore.
"That's enough. Indeed we can't let this matter go unresolved. But we need to come up with a practical solution to this problem. I agree with you all that we can't afford to let all the fifteen participants enter the Misty Peak. But what should we do next? We must have a measure to resolve this."
Several Elders awkwardly looked at each other; they all felt somewhat embarrassed. Everyone has their own solution, but none of them had the confidence that they could convince the other Elders to accept their ideas.
Finally, the Sixth Elder said, "According to my calculation, we naturally can't let these fifteen people enter the Misty Peak... But to enter the Carefree Peak, that is entirely possible. Our sect's resources can support them."
Regardless of which sect, the treatment for Inner Sect Disciples and Outer Sect Disciples was vastly different. For Spirit Sword Sect who pursued the policy of focusing on the elite, this was especially true when the number of the elites was in decay. This policy was glaringly obvious when the number of the disciples in the two courts were compared. Although the Inner Court only has thirty-four disciples while the Outer Court has over two hundred disciples, the Misty Peak disciples received ten times more resources.
Although the sect could certainly afford it if these fifteen youths were to enter the Carefree Peak, the Junior Martial Sister Hua Yun, who was the leader of the Carefree Peak, was unwilling.
"Smelly Old Six, what do you mean by this? Do you think my Carefree Peak is like a dumpster?"
Lu Li immediately waved his hand and explained, "I was just giving a solution from the Sect's resources point of view. Junior Martial Sister, do not misunderstand me..."
The Junior Martial Sister unhappily sat down and then said, "From what I see, our sect hasn't successfully received any disciple from the Immortal Gathering in more than a hundred years anyway. Simply kicking them down the mountain wouldn't make that much of a difference."
Lu Li, who had angered Hua Yun just now, tactfully echoed her sentiment, "Yes, this would actually save a lot of our sect's resources..."
"Can you guys stop making this nonsense solution? Want to kick them all out? On what grounds? In accordance with the rules, they all have successfully completed the Immortal Path!"
Disciplinary Elder Fang He angrily pointed at Hua Yun and Lu Li. "If our sect is some kind of small or evil sect, your ideas are actually not that bad. But how could our Spirit Sword Sect do such a thing!? If we do such a shameful thing, we would bring shame on our Sect's Patriarch!"
Hua Yun stuck out her tongue but did not dare to contradict the Disciplinary Elder whose authority was second only to the Sect Leader. However, not long after, she cocked her head and muttered in a low voice, "Stubborn old guy destined to be single for life..."
Catching this, Fang He fumed.
Fortunately, the Sect Leader promptly interjected, "Oh, we're in trouble now. We can neither accept them to the Inner Court nor reject them, what should we do then?"
Second Elder Liu Xian very bluntly said, "In the end, this is all because Senior Martial Brother excessively spoiled Fifth Martial Sister. Therefore, Senior Martial Brother should be the one who comes up with the solution!"
"Hehe, if you want a solution, I actually do have one. Moreover, it's a simple solution. If fifteen is too much, we can weed out most of them by imposing our criteria."
Disciplinary Elder Fang He knitted his brows. "Sect Leader, it's against the rules. Properly speaking, they have already passed the trials, so we shouldn't deliberately complicate the issue..."
"Rules are made by men. From what I see, these fifteen people have yet to pass the Immortal Path because the last part was forcefully broken by an irresistible external force. Therefore, their trials have yet to finish."
Fang He was stunned. "This is a blatant sophistry!"
Liu Xian justifiably clapped his hands, showing his agreement with the Head Elder's proposal. "How is this a sophistry? That is the best proposal that I've ever heard today! This time, the Immortal Path has repeatedly been modified. Not making them repeat all the trials is already a generous proposal from the Sect Leader."
The total Elders of the Heavenly Sword Hall was ten. There were currently nine of them in this room - the Fifth Elder was a non-active Elder. Since the top two among them have already spoken the same thing, what else could the rest of them say? Thus, this Elder's meeting had come to an end.
Half a day later, the Heavenly Sword Hall Elders convened in the Misty Peak to weed out most of the fifteen participants who were supposed to have already passed the trials.
Most of the fifteen participants who had gathered at the Mystical Cloud Hall were filled with resentment.
Of course, their response was natural because after thinking that the Immortal Path had already been opened to them, they have suddenly been notified of an additional trial. Moreover, looking at the team of examiners, their odds of passing this trial was slim to none! This was like when someone on a wedding night; the groom had already taken off his pants, unsheathed his gun, and ready to consummate his marriage, but when he lifted the veil, what he saw was the sight of his smiling father-in-law reaching out a hand towards him, asking for a large gift! It was truly an intolerable behavior! No wonder people went mad.
However, no matter how unjust it was, they still had to accept the reality. After all, even the most qualified person, the one that should be the angriest, remained silent. How could the other people's complaints be justified?
Wang Lu's silence made the other participants lose the opportunity to use this unjust situation as a pretext to protest. After all, he was the one who suffered the most from this unjust additional trial because, among the fifteen participants, he was the only one who made through all the trials fair and square. The others were just trailing along the path that had been cleared by him. However, Wang Lu was actually included in the additional trial. No one knew what the Spirit Sword Sect was thinking. Perhaps, they never planned to take any new disciple from the beginning?
No matter what the Spirit Sword Sect's plan was, Wang Lu was unclear, but he was also too lazy to think about it. As far he, as someone who was brimming with confidence, was concerned, the more difficult the trial they threw at him, the more magnificent his eventual victory would become. In any case, he has the Heavenly Spirit Root, who would dare to refuse him?
Therefore, when the rest of them gathered at the square in front of the Mystical Cloud Hall, the participants gathered in groups of two or three to discuss their countermeasures. On the contrary, Wang Lu was all alone standing under a tree watching everything. At this time, the Mystical Cloud Hall had yet to open, and the details of the trial had yet to be revealed. Even a professional adventurer like him was as clueless as the next person, so what could be possibly gained from discussing it with the others? It was purely an action to console themselves.
However, he always had a feeling that the journey ahead would be filled with twist and turns. Perhaps, even more unexpected thing could happen...
As the youths in front of the hall were indulging in flights of fancy, time continued to fly. However, the door of the Mystical Cloud Hall remained close, so the people had no choice but to continue their idleness.
At the same time, the Elders of the Heavenly Sword Hall inside the Mystical Cloud Hall were anxious. Most of them had arrived, waiting for the additional trial to begin; with the exception of Sect Leader, who was conspicuously absent.
Although it was not unusual for important people to be late, but Daoist Master Feng Yin had never adhered to such a useless display of authority. He was more punctual than most of the people in the Spirit Sword Sect - especially when meeting with the fifth Elder of the Heavenly Sword Hall. At this point, the Sect Leader was more than an hour late, causing everyone to be at a loss.
Fourth Elder Zhou Ming, who was a bit impatient, promptly beckoned his close disciple and said, "Liu Li, go find out what happened to the Sect Leader, then ask him to come over."
The nearby female disciple nodded her head and turned into a ray of light as she flew away.
A quarter an hour later, the female disciple flew back. "Reporting to Master! I couldn't find the Sect Leader."
"... Where did you search for him?"
"I have no idea. Earlier, Master didn't tell me where to find him."
"You..." Zhou Ming was at a loss for words. Eventually, he helplessly shook his head. "Forget, just sit down."
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