Chapter 24: This is What You Call...
Translator: Subudai11 Editor: Chrissy
At the same time, on the Stellar Peak, the Sect Leader's solemn face was looking at the silver sword in front of him. After he lightly knocked the sword, he hesitantly said, "He's really in this group of people... Fifth Martial Sister, what do you have in mind?"
At the other end of the bamboo room, the woman in white wore a rare serious expression. "I can even identify the candidate... The one who can crack my chain of quest can't be just an average person."
The Sect Leader said, "Little Ling'Er told me that, and I've personally looked him up... Based on his aptitude, I really can't see him be worthy of the title 'The Chosen One'."
"Tsk, since when did you assume success only based on potential alone? If you insist on looking for potential alone, can you even train a person with a Heavenly Spirit Root?"
Facing his Junior Martial Sister's contempt, the Sect Leader coughed and said, "Fifth Martial Sister, did you forget about Ling'Er again?"
"... Damn, in short, even if he only has Five Elements Spirit Root, no, even if it's just a Six Harmonies Spirit Root, I am not wrong. Not to mention that this Age of Chaos and The Chosen One concepts, all of these bullshxt, were raised by you. I designed this trial just to help you identify this particular person. If you doubt that..."
The Sect Leader hastily waved his hand to interject. "I do not doubt you. I just feel a bit strange... Forget it, since you've said so, then there should be no mistake. I'll give serious attention to The Chosen One. If necessary, I will even invoke my privilege as the Sect Leader."
The Junior Martial Sister sneered. "If you are even reluctant to use your privilege, then what is the point of you still being the Sect Leader? You might as well abdicate your position to me, then I will show you how to be a good Sect Leader."
The Sect Leader pretended that he did not hear her and left the hut without a thought, leaving behind the woman in white with her mouth twitching.
The Sect Leader only allowed the Heavenly Sword Hall Elders to be the judge in the additional trial. However, the woman in white was currently a non-active Elder, so she was not eligible to attend and could only wait outside, but...
As she looked around the room, a greedy smile appeared on her lips. Although the Sect Leader was famous for being frugal, he was still the leader of a great sect. This bamboo room was his personal cultivation room, so there were definitely many hidden treasures here. Usually, the Sect Leader would either set up a restriction to prohibit unconcerned persons from entering or guard the place himself. Thus, the woman in white never had the opportunity to strike, until now... This was a godsent opportunity for her!
Then suddenly, she felt her eyes blurred. The next moment, she was already standing outside the bamboo room. Needless to say, the indoor restriction array activated and kicked her out.
"What the, so watertight! Your heart is really small!"
While she was complaining, the woman suddenly noticed a glimmer on the table.
"... Did that idiot forget to bring his glasses again?"
In an instant, the Sect Leader appeared in the Mystical Cloud Hall and took his seat.
The other Elders stood up to greet him, "Welcome, Sect Leader!"
"Ah, Junior Martial Brothers and Sister, no need to be so polite. I am late, so I should be the one to offer an apology to everyone." The Sect Leader cupped his hands in front of him and slightly bent over. However, everyone could see that it was a half-hearted apology.
Second Elder Liu Xian loudly coughed. "Sect Leader, since all the people have arrived, I think we should begin, right? Just now, the other Elders and I have come to an agreement that from those fifteen people, we can only accept three people at most."
As long as the most important one was included in it, the Sect Leader didn't worry about those numbers. He had verified that candidate twice, once at the Ru Family Inn, and once on the Golden Bridge... Unfortunately, he couldn't watch that candidate's progression after that due to his other important matters. Even after he had finally managed to squeeze out time to oversee the gathering, he had to spend it to deal with his Martial Sister's antics. Otherwise, he would have definitely paid more attention to this matter of great importance.
Thinking up to this point, The Sect Leader sighed and waved his hand. "Let's begin, no need to delay any further."
Thus, the additional trial began.
There was nothing fancy in this trial. After the door of the Mystical Cloud Hall had been opened, a gentle white light shrouded the entire room. Then, several disciples in black and white clothing, politely yet with a cold and detached manner, led the participants to stand before the hall to wait for the trial. In the hall, there were nine pairs of eyes sharply scrutinizing them, as if cutting them in millions of tiny pieces.
This was all there was to it in this additional trial; there were no rules or complicated procedures. Whether one was qualified to stay or not, it all depended on the Elders' fiery eyes. Of course, the Elders would carefully open their spiritual eyes in order to deeply analyze the true potential of each participant. Through their experience, although they could rely on their intuition alone to correctly judge a person's potential with an accuracy of seventy to eighty percent, but in this Immortal Gathering, they could not afford to be negligent. Even the Sect Leader had opened his Stellar Gaze, which could not only see through the present, but could also gain insight into the future... Thus, the Sect Leader could determine even the rarest Spirit Root.
However, this kind of trial was too uncomfortable for the participants; this was basically similar to slaves being exhibited to potential buyers. Because of that layer of white light, the participants were completely unable to see the face of the judges, and thus, they could not determine whether they got a good result or not based on the reaction from the judges; they didn't even know what kind of standard would be applied to judge them.
While all of them were feeling apprehensive, a disciple in black and white said, "Everyone please walk to the front of the hall one by one."
"Walk to the front one by one? Is there no arrangement on who walks first? Is it good to be the first or the last? Should we go faster or slower?"
While most of the participants were plagued by these issues, one determined youth had marched to the front of the hall in big strides.
But contrary to the participants' expectation, it was neither Wang Lu nor the consistently well-performing Hai Yunfan. Instead, it was the prince from the Great Ming Kingdom, Zhu Qin.
This was Zhu Qin's last ditch effort. With top performers like Wang Lu and Hai Yunfan around, the opportunities for him to shine were few... Indeed, Zhu Qin himself was not that confident, but at least, he needed to show his resoluteness.
He was only ranked ten in the Cloud Wave Map; not because he was more indecisive than the participants who ranked higher than him, but because he exerted himself too much at the Golden Bridge. This resulted in him being too exhausted, so he took a rest in the Cloud Wave Map for quite a while. Thinking about it afterwards, he always regretted that decision.
Zhu Qin did not want to leave the wrong impression to the judges. He heard that the Spirit Sword Sect put heavy emphasis on one's character. Therefore, he would show them his character!
One step, two step... His pace was steady. It did not seem that this youth's mind was nervous at all. However, as he walked forward, the entire hall remained silent.
Was this a good or bad decision? No one knew...
But after Zhu Qin, the next one to walk forward was Wang Zhong... This ex-errand boy might not have Zhu Qin's decisiveness, but he was clever enough. Because when he saw Zhu Qin walk forward, he noticed that Wang Lu actually had the intention to move, but was too lazy to contend for the first place against Zhu Qin.
"No matter. If Wang Lu doesn't want to contend, I will..." Although he had been independent of Wang Lu, Wang Zhong knew about his ex-master's ability and judgment very well. However, regardless of how inconceivable his ex-young-master's judgment was... in the end, it would mostly turn out to be right.
Therefore, Wang Zhong became the second to walk forward. When he turned around, he saw that Wang Lu seemed to be laughing at him.
Wang Zhong immediately turned around, feeling utterly confused.
At this time, several sounds came from inside the hall. Although those sounds were quite soft, Wang Zhong, who was gifted with keen ears and sharp eyes, was barely able to hear them.
"Oh, so it's him."
"Sect Leader Senior Martial Brother, do you think that this child is different?"
"Yes, he is indeed different."
"But in terms of potential... although he has good potential, it's not that extraordinary."
"Don't judge his future solely based on his potential."
After that, Wang Zhong could no longer make out what they were saying, but these few words were like a thunder strike to his mind, leaving it completely blank.
"There is hope! The Sect Leader thinks I am different and can be trained!"
He was drowned in the sea of happiness, so much that in his trance, other people have walked passed him to the front of the Hall one by one.
When he regained his composure, he happened to see Hai Yunfan walk pass him with a smile on his face. At this time, the Elder's seemed to speak again. Hai Yunfan did not notice this, but Wang Zhong could actually make out what the Elders said.
"Oh, this one... What a pity..."
"What a pity? Haha, looks like this prince from the Grand Cloud Empire doesn't a chance!"
"Indeed, previously on the Golden Bridge, he had to stop way earlier than me. Obviously, he doesn't have the qualification to enter the Spirit Sword Sect."
Although his heart was having a schadenfreude, Wang Zhong did not show it on his face. He nodded to Hai Yunfan as he walked pass him.
Then, one after another, the participants walked to the front until the last participant, Wang Lu.
Wang Lu actually had a mind to go first, but it was not because of any special reason; he just wanted this to be over as soon as possible. However, since he couldn't grab the first place, he simply waited for the last, which was not too bad as well.
As for those more than a dozen eyes which were intently scrutinizing him, Wang Lu simply did not care. He strutted out before the hall with an attitude of indescribable composure.
Then, the people in the hall suddenly heard a series of excited voice coming from the Elders.
"Oh God, his Spirit Root is blinding me!"
"This old man has been cultivating for more than a hundred years, but today, I have finally been touched by god!"
"Quick, quick, go and make him into a specimen, I want to add him to my collection!"
"I want to eat his meat! I've heard that eating it can make you live forever!"
The Elders unbridled voice echoed throughout the Mystical Cloud Hall, leaving the participants before them completely dumbfounded. However, someone finally coughed twice. "Everyone, be quiet, don't get excited."
After that, the hall became completely silent. But the disturbance just now had sent the minds of the participants into a state of turmoil.
"Damn, this Wang Lu is really not someone to mess with! What kind of place is this Spirit Sword Sect? They are one of the top five sects within the Union of Ten Thousand Immortals! What kind of person has the people from this sect not seen before? And yet, they even lost their self-control at the sight of this country boy's spirit root!"
"Is there still a fxcking justice in this world? Is this guy really the child of a peasant farmer from the countryside and not some bastard kid of some Immortal King?"
While the participants were talking about this, a girl dressed in a bright and colorful gown walked out from the interior of the Mystical Cloud Hall. Her hand was holding a piece of paper, where she read a passage word for word. "Everyone, please take a rest for a while. We will combine the opinions of the Elders. In about one hour, we will reveal the three qualified participants."
After reading it, the girl simply rolled up the paper and went back to the interior of the hall. But not before she held her gaze on a certain someone for a bit longer.
That certain someone was Wang Lu. The girl sized him up with eyes filled with curiosity and endless interest. On the other hand, she completely ignored the rest of the participants. Such a special treatment made everyone envious and jealous, wishing that they could take Wang Lu's place.
At this point, nobody doubted that Wang Lu would be among the final three finalists. With a beater-like way of thinking, a spirit root that could be said to be in defiance of the natural law, and a likable aura... even the most nitpicky examiner could not possibly find any flaws in him.
But through all this, Wang Lu remained calm and unperturbed. He was neither moved by the unbridled opinions from inside the hall just now nor did he care about the curious gaze of the female disciple. He just quietly stood there, with a posture filled with confidence.
Time passed, and soon, the girl with the bright and colorful dress came out again, holding a note in her hand.
"Those whose name will be read out by me, follow me into the hall. As for the others... " The girl looked up and smiled like a blooming flower. "You can clean yourself and rest first before you go home."
The participants in front of the hall held their breaths as their stared at her, waiting for the outcome of the trial.
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