Chapter 25: Do Not Look Down On Antique...
Translator: Subudai11 Editor: Chrissy
From the moment the girl opened her cherry lips, read the list of names, and put away the paper, the bright smile on her face never disappeared.
However, the participants before the hall felt as if they were struck by the Black Frost Sword right on their face.
Previously, everyone had their own guess on who would be on the list, but all of them chose Wang Lu followed by Hai Yunfan, and then either Zhu Qin or Wang Zhong. However, nobody expected that the real outcome would be such a shocker.
The top two candidates actually failed! Where was the justice in this!?
This shocking development even put a damp on the two participants whose names were on the list, Zhu Qin and Wang Zhong. There was no smile on their face. One of them intensely pinched himself on the leg, and the other one simply butted his head against the tree, leaving the leaves and branches rattling.
Only the first to be named, Wen Bao, innocently and naively clapped and laughed, "Hooray! I won!"
Then, he failed to catch his breath, became unconscious, and fell down to the floor, head first.
The others were left puzzled and preferred to wait and see. The list was too unreasonable and hard to believe. They wondered if this list was not the real list and was part of the trial to test their mental quality.
In fact, not only the participants, even the Elders of the Heavenly Sword Hall were also quite puzzled with this list.
The Elders have their reasons for not selecting Wang Lu and Hai Yunfan, but among the three people that were selected... Wen Bao and Zhu Qin could be considered as okay selection, but Wang Zhong hardly only met the minimum standard to be an inner court disciple of the Spirit Sword Sect. Although his spirit root was quite good, his other qualities were much worse.
But in an unexpected turn of events and a dash of dumb luck, Wang Zhong actually won the favor of the Sect Leader! The Nine Elders of the Heavenly Sword Hall, in theory, were equal in status, so even if one or two elders had different opinions, it would not be significant. But when the Head Elder opened his mouth to speak, saying that he was very optimistic about Wang Zhong, he naturally appeared on the list.
The participants standing in front of the hall naturally didn't know about the tendentious opinions of the Spirit Sword Sect's higher ups. They were still puzzled whether the list was genuine or fake.
Of course, some people were not so naive.
"Brother Wang Lu... What do you think about this?"
Hai Yunfan's face was sullen when he raised this question. Others may think that this was a fluke, but he had the intuition that the girl's list was real.
In other words, this was the final result! He and Wang Lu were unsuccessful, while Zhu Qin, Wang Zhong and Wen Bao were accepted as inner court disciples!
Wang Lu was similarly baffled by this result.
"My God, what's with this plot! It was so full of foreplay but has a sadistic end for its main lead... Have those elders lost their mind!"
Hai Yunfan's heart became heavier because Wang Lu's reaction certainly confirmed his own intuition, then...
"Do I need to protest, Brother Wang Lu?"
"Not only do we need to protest, we should also raise an army of social media buzzer to hype this up. As their commanding officer, I shall appoint forty million of my followers to badmouth and spread rumors about this sect until this sect lost all their credibility!"
"Huh? Brother Wang Lu, calm down a bit..."
"Oh, that was just a joke." At this point, Wang Lu revealed a calm smiling face to Hai Yunfan, making the latter felt a heartfelt admiration to Wang Lu. "This is actually just right."
"Just right?" Hai Yunfan's eyes widened as he tried to decipher these words from Wang Lu's mouth.
"Little Hai, the scene that we're currently in is like a story with the plot of tragic beginning, and we are the main characters in this story. The more extreme and unreasonable the beginning is for us, the more exciting our future development would be. Let alone failing in the Immortal Gathering, it is best if we get back, found our whole family was killed, our ancestral graves were dug up, and the women in our family were raped; the more tragic it is, the better! If that happens, our future would be limitless, and we are bound to become immortals!"
"What the hell! Brother Wang Lu, wake up! Wake up!"
Seeing Wang Lu seemed to fall into a kind of unreasonable frenzy, Hai Yunfan had a scare. But at this time, a sigh came from their side.
"It's so hard to see you like this, Brother Wang Lu. With your carefree attitude, you should not be so taken aback by this."
Wang Lu curiously turned his head. "And you are?"
"Zhu Qin from the Great Ming Kingdom." The youth cupped his hands in a greeting posture, and then he said, "You have looked after me once in the Peach Blossom Village."
"Oh, I remember. You're the one who poached my errand boy from my side."
Zhu Qin was suddenly at a loss for words. At that time, he befriended Wang Zhong and encouraged him to become independent. Although his method was quite distasteful, Wang Lu, at that time, was at the top and way out of his league; the only way to pull Wang Lu down a bit was to use Wang Zhong.
"Furthermore, it's actually thanks to you that I, Zhu Qin, can go through the Frozen Wind Valley to come here. All of my accomplishments are because of brother Wang Lu, so I sincerely want to thank you."
Wang Lu chuckled.
"During this Immoral Gathering, everyone, including me, was only able to look at your back, all the way through here. Brother Wang Lu, to be honest, in my heart, not only did I have my utmost admiration for you, there's also a lot of jealousy. You and I are people from the Great Ming Kingdom; I am a Prince, and you are just a commoner. Yet, in this Immortal Path, I can't even deserve to tie your shoes."
Although his words were really touching, Wang Lu kept on chuckling.
Zhu Qin ignored his response and continued, "But now this result... It truly is unexpected. But this just goes to show that the path to immortality is uncertain. However, Brother Wang Lu, in my mind, your brilliance is not dimmed in any way by this. Victory or defeat is commonplace in any fight. Although you cannot succeed here, you can succeed in anywhere else. There are numerous sects outside of Spirit Sword Sect. This does not mean that our path to immortality would never cross again."
"Hahaha." Wang Lu continued to laugh.
Zhu Qin tried very hard to show his sincerity, but Wang Lu had seen many professional actors who were better than him.
"... All that has been said are just my heartfelt words as a fellow participant. Brother Wang Lu, I hope you don't misunderstand."
Wang Lu nodded his head. "You mean I can only blame myself for this, right? I understand."
Zhu Qin frowned, but he could not help open his mouth to add, "Then... Brother Wang Lu, if, in the future, your Immortal Path leads to nowhere, you might as well be an official in our Great Ming Kingdom. I heard that you are well-versed in Confucian Classics and highly talented as a scholar. Although I cannot inherit the throne in the future, but I still have some influence regarding matters of the state."
Wang Lu chuckled. "Are you trying to recruit a subordinate? Ai, if only you agree to share your wife with me, then it would certainly show your sincerity. Then, I can set my mind at ease to work for you. What do you think? Let me ride your wife; it doesn't matter if you are too young for that now, I will just make a reservation to be the first then."
Zhu Qin felt as if he was in a banquet and accidentally swallowed a shxt.
Wang Lu was indeed Wang Lu. In just a few words, he could turn those "generous" words into shxt, and flung it back at Zhu Qin... "I will remember this, Brother Wang Lu."
Then, while all the participants' attention were focused on Zhu Qin and Wang Lu, the young lady in the brightly colored gown suddenly turned her head, seemingly listening to the whispering from the Elders. After a few moments and several "yes" replies, the girl turned to Wang Lu and Hai Yunfan.
"Um... My Master asked me to explain the reason why the both of you were not selected. Although the Spirit Sword Sect doesn't need to explain its decision, you two are very special... The first one is His Royal Highness Hai Yunfan. According to the Elders, after they inspected your spirit root, they found out that your spirit root's attribute belongs to the gentle breeze and mellow water, a third rank compound spirit root. Based on this alone, you have already met the requirement of the Misty Peak. Moreover, your character, perception and other qualities are far more than..."
Hearing her words, Hai Yunfan could not help but interject, "Then why... didn't I make it on the list? Because the other people are better than me? Or simply because there aren't enough space in the Spirit Sword Sect?"
The girl froze for a moment, then she angrily stamped her feet. "Don't interrupt me! It was so hard for me to remember what my master said! Now, I completely forgot what he said! Why don't you guess it!"
"... I, I am sorry." Hai Yunfan quickly admitted his mistake.
The girl pouted for a moment, but then her ears slightly moved. It appeared that she was listening to the whisper from the inner hall.
"Oh, the main reason you weren't selected was because your spirit root's attribute was incompatible with the Spirit Sword Sect's training method. The gentle breeze and mellow water is a compound spirit root of extreme soft type, and the Spirit Sword Sect does not have a compatible training method for that."
Hai Yunfan blinked his eyes. "What?"
"Although it's not impossible for you to train with our training method, but even if you train with the most compatible training method the Spirit Sword Sect can offer, you can only reach eighty percent of your true potential at most, which would be too much of a waste for you."
Hai Yunfan did not know whether to laugh or cry. "Actually, I really don't mind wasting..."
The girl earnestly said, "It's not the same, a third rank spirit root... is the bare minimum to achieve ascension to immortality. Even a slightly less than one hundred percent of true potential would make you fail to ascend, let alone an eighty percent like yours."
Hai Yunfan furrowed his brows. "Minimum requirement to achieve ascension to immortality? Let's put this on the side first. Although the purpose of cultivation is to achieve immortality, has anyone ever successfully ascended to the World of Immortals?"
The girl said, "Since the last Age of Chaos, no one has been successful. Because even if third rank spirit roots could achieve ascension in theory, in practice, it would be very slow with numerous matters that would become a hindrance along the way. Ultimately, it is very hard to reach the finish line. Even with the first rank spirit root like Heavenly Spirit Root... there has been no precedent so far."
This made Hai Yunfan wanted to laugh. "Then, why did you make such an excessive demand?"
The girl said, "Because... this is Immortal Gathering, and Spirit Sword Sect is an Immortal Cultivation sect. What is the point of accepting someone who has no chance of achieving ascension? To do odd jobs? Even if there has been no precedent of a successful ascension in the past thousands of years, we will not lower our standard. If we do, we would wallow in degeneration, and thus, we would become no different than those third rate sects. Although our numbers are small, we are very ambitious."
Everyone was taken aback by her rousing speech.
In recent years, not only within the world of Immortal Cultivators, even the people from the mortal world thought that the Spirit Sword Sect a was mediocre sect great in name only. But in this place, the participants heard that the sect actually has a lofty ambition!
Hai Yunfan almost burst into tears, thinking, "Damn it, are you trying to trick me? Do you think I'd believe that?"
"However, given that your other qualities are excellent, it would be a pity if your path to immortality was to stop here. Hence, we would be willing to consider to write a recommendation letter for you to the Ten Thousand Arts Sect, which has the most extensive collection of Immortal Cultivation Methods amongst all sects. Any strange or rare spirit roots can get the appropriate training there. They don't have any moral integrity and are not picky in selecting their disciples, which is far more suitable for you than the Spirit Sword Sect."
"Ten Thousand... Arts Sect?" Hai Yunfan mumbled to himself. His mind quickly weighed the pros and cons.
If the Spirit Sword Sect's recommendation letter was indeed effective, then regardless of which aspect, going to the Ten Thousand Arts Sect was a far better choice. Although it was still inferior to the number one sect, the Shenjing Sect, it was still ranked second or third amongst the five great sects, and tied with the Kunlun Immortal Sect. Moreover, he could maximize his Immortal Cultivation potential there, which was better than the eighty percent from the Spirit Sword Sect.
The weighing result was obvious, but deep inside, Hai Yunfan still had a trace of indescribable hesitation. He felt that choosing the Ten Thousand Arts Sect could not possibly go wrong, but what if a trace of regret appeared in the distant future...?
Thus, Hai Yunfan subconsciously looked at Wang Lu.
"Brother Wang Lu, if you..."
However, before Wang Lu could reply, the girl from the Spirit Sword Sect has replied for him, "As for the other participant, Wang Lu, his character and perception... are simply impeccable. He was far above you, Your Highness Hai Yunfan. As for his spirit root... Yes, you guessed it, he has the Heavenly Spirit Root."
Heavenly Spirit Root!
"On top of that..." The girl smiled even wider. "It is the rarest Heavenly Spirit Root, the Void Spirit Root."
Void Spirit Root? Most of the people present had never heard this type of spirit root.
"Yes, this is the first time for me to hear it myself. My Master has just told me about it... The Void Spirit Root is actually the Spirit Root of the legendary Immortal Qin Shi Huang and the Great Ancestor Desheng. The Immortal Qin Shi Huang unified the Nine Regions, while the Great Ancestor Desheng single-handedly saved the Nine Regions, leading us to victory in the war of Immortals and Demons."
In the ancient times, Immortal Qin Shi Huang and Great Ancestor Desheng were recognized as the strongest cultivators. After the Age of Chaos, they were even more revered by the people. To be able to do such a feat like them, their spirit root must have been beyond what an average person could imagine.
After the shock, the participants were instead filled with doubts. If Wang Lu's Spirit Root was comparable to those two revered Immortals, and if his character and perception were impeccable, then... why didn't the Spirit Sword Sect choose him? Do they also want to write a letter of recommendation to the Shengjing Sect?"
"No, this... This is so troublesome to explain..." The girl said as she blushed with embarrassment. "Master, I don't know how to explain this, why don't you come here and tell them!"
Then, the girl suddenly hugged her head as if feeling an intense pain. "Ok, ok, I know, don't yell at me..."
"Well, in simpler terms, although the rarer the spirit root the more powerful it is, it doesn't mean it's good. On the contrary, the more powerful and rare the spirit root, the stricter its training method, and the things that can be learned are also more specific and narrow. As an example, for the Heavenly Spirit Root of fire attribute, it is almost impossible to practice using training method based on water attribute. Even if you force to practice using that method, it would be largely ineffective, so much that you couldn't even successfully reach the Foundation Establishment Stage. In addition, in the process of training, you need a lot of first rate materials and treasures. Therefore, in this Immortal Cultivation World, only the top sects are able to train a cultivator with the Heavenly Spirit Root."
Upon hearing this, a lot of people have vaguely understood the reason why Wang Lu was rejected despite his excellent qualities.
The girl continued, "But this is only applicable to the relatively common Heavenly Spirit Root. Ever since the last Age of Chaos, many cultivation methods are either lost or abandoned due to the change in the world's spiritual energy. Some spirit roots' cultivation methods have been completely lost, or impossible to reproduce. For example, the Elder Dugu of the Shengjing Sect has the rare Calamity Spirit Root, but due to all kinds of restrictions, he couldn't break through the Deity Stage in three hundred years... If the Calamity Spirit Root is like this, then the even rarer Void Spirit Root doesn't need to be mentioned. Even before the End of the Age of Chaos, there was no cultivation method that is compatible with the Void Spirit Root. According to legends, the two revered Immortals, Immortal Qin Shi Huang and Great Ancestor Desheng were handed down the cultivation method from the Immortal World  before they were able to start cultivating. The records of the Great Ancestor Desheng were even more detailed; he once went to the Kunlun Immortal Sect to cultivate. Over ten years, he had tried numerous cultivation methods, but none enabled him to draw the spiritual energy into his body. Therefore..."
After a short pause, the girl calmly said the cold, hard truth, "Therefore, it's not just the Spirit Sword Sect, no sect in the Immortal Cultivation World is able to train someone with the Void Spirit Root. Let alone Yuanying or Deity Stage, even drawing the Spiritual Energy into the body is impossible to achieve. The so-called Void Spirit Root, since after the Age of Chaos, is simply a rare antique and has no value other than a collection."
 Path to Immortality: Mortal World -> Immortal Cultivation World -> Immortal World
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