”So soon?! ” The crowd immediately went into an uproar. Usually, the basic information about the Core Competition would be announced now and then explained several days after The Challenge to give participants time to plan and make last minute preparations. This was also because of the chance of a new core disciple being bestowed their rank.
During this period of time, the newly promoted core disciple had some reprieve to attempt a recruitment of some members for the competition. While they would likely place ninth, it was still beneficial and helped the core disciple establish a solid base to move forward.
Now, however, it was going to just start? In that case, the situation now had to be different than previous competitions. This excited the crowd and even the core disciples grew restless in their hearts. While some, like Wei Wuyin, had avenues of information and knew of the oddity that was this competition, none of them knew what it was truly going to be about.
Elder Bai ’s expression turned stern as he looked towards the core disciples. ”The competition will be held at the Scarlet Dao Temple. However, before we relocate, you all will be given an explanation and choice. ”
His words once more caused an uproar amongst the crowd and even the core disciples were curious about this choice mentioned. As for the Scarlet Dao Temple, they knew of it and had all entered it. It was the main warehouse for the myriad of qi arts and spiritual spells of the sect.
They waited patiently as Elder Bai continued, ”The Competition will be cultivation. In particular, the cultivation of an ancient qi method. Not only will you be exposed to this method, but you will be able to cultivate it even after the trial. However, the ancient qi method is fierce and accidents can happen, even qi deviation. Therefore, you all will have the choice to withdraw at this moment. ”
”I will stress, ” Elder Bai ’s eyes flashed with a sense of profound heaviness, ”there is a chance of qi deviation, so those with poor willpower should choose carefully. ” His words caused the clamor of the crowd to stop and grow silent. They were all observing the nine disciples.
Wei Wuyin pondered. Qi Arts and Qi Methods were two very different things. Qi Arts were ways to exercise your qi in a particular fashion and accomplish a particular action. Qi Methods were how to cultivate qi and its foundation. Everyone had a Qi Method, and the Scarlet Solaris Sect had the Scarlet Solaris Qi Method that allows one to absorb Scarlet Qi to transform the Heart of Qi into a Heart of Scarlet Qi, allowing one ’s metaphysical qi to inherently become metaphysical Scarlet Qi.
This ancient qi method must have extraordinary requirements for cultivation. If there ’s a chance of qi deviation, then it had to stress talent heavily. No wonder they would only give core disciples the opportunity.
According to Elder Ji, it required high comprehension and intelligence.
Tao Gui spoke out at this moment, breaking the solemn silence, ”Has there ever been someone who successfully cultivated the method? ” This question perked the hearts of all the disciples. Indeed, if it had never succeeded, then it was defective, and therefore choosing to withdraw was the right decision. Which cultivator didn ’t value their lives to a certain extent? They reached their current level with countless hours and days of loneliness and meditation, how could they throw that away needlessly?
Elder Bai responded quickly, as if he expected the question, ”Yes. I ’ll say it has been cultivated to the fourth level, and has a total of seven levels. However, no one has cultivated to the fifth level. ” As he vaguely explained this, the others now had a faint understanding of the situation. This was an opportunity and a trial. Perhaps the first obstacle required was self-confidence.
However, there would still be a few cautious fellows who would sit back and not participate. For example, cultivating a risky method for no reason other than some dregs of benefits was too little.
Wei Wuyin knew that Mei Mei would refuse. As he thought of that, he glanced at the bloody figure in the distance. He sighed inwardly.
”I will also mention the rewards for the trial ’s placements. Third Place will be able to receive three Elemental Stones of their choice, and a Scarlet Qi Stone. Second Place will receive that and the ability to enter the cultivation grounds of any area except the Scarlet Qi Pond for six months. First Place, will receive an entire three months in the Scarlet Qi Pond and a Refined Yin Stone, including the benefits of Third and Second Place. ”
A silence unlike ever before was born. It was eerie and only the sounds of rapid heartbeats could be heard.
Wei Wuyin ’s eyes were wider than a full moon and his body shivered.
Wei Wuyin knew that elemental stones were condensed materials of heaven and earth, requiring a century minimum of nourishment. They were great sources of cultivation as they contained dense elemental energies that can birth elements in one ’s Heart of Qi or even strengthen the body.
When he became a core disciple, he was told that every five years, he would receive one elemental stone of his choice. One! Just one!!
As for Scarlet Qi Stones, they were stones condensed by the Scarlet Qi Pond, and were similar to elemental stones, requiring an incredibly long time before they were produced.
Third Place already exceeded last year ’s total prizes. Being in the Scarlet Qi Pond for a week did not amount to one Scarlet Qi Stone. In fact, it would be better to say it was equivalent to a month of cultivation in the Scarlet Qi Pond.
If third place placement was already so great, then second place which included all that and six months of cultivation in any cultivation grounds was miraculous. As a core disciple for the last two years, he had cultivated a total of three days in any given cultivation ground.
If he wanted to use them, he had to generate an absurd amount of contribution points and they were consumed by the hour. They were mostly reserved for Core Elders and above.
An entire six months was an insane amount of time. With the Elemental Stones of their choice and a Scarlet Qi Stone, weren ’t their futures truly limitless?!
The first one didn ’t need to be stated. Just being in the Scarlet Qi Pond for a week was like years of cultivation outside. With three months, condensing a Heart of Scarlet Qi was an absolute given to anyone with a modicum of talent. They ’ll likely even ascend their cultivation phase to the next level.
With the Refined Yin Stone, becoming a Fourth Phase expert was a guarantee to anyone who placed first.
Even after three full minutes, the entire colosseum of hundreds of thousands of members were silent. Elder Bai allowed them to process the information, especially the core disciples.
Wei Wuyin, and the rest, knew that with enticements like this, the risk must be immense. He took a deep breath and expelled a breath of turbid qi. Calming himself down, his eyes flashed with interest and determination. If he could get at least second place, he could…
As his mind whirled, Jiu Lang spoke, ”I ’ll have to decline this challenge. ” Her voice was calm and while many wanted to say she didn ’t have the heart to pursue benefits in the face of risk, no one could argue with her choice. In fact, not many were stupid enough to think that such a reward would come easy.
Not to mention the risk, you would still have to compete. If all nine participated, only three would receive anything outside of the ancient qi method. As for the rest, if they underwent qi deviation, would it be worth it? The obvious answer was no.
Elder Bai looked at Jiu Lang and smiled, ”Hold a moment. There is also another condition. ” When those words were said, everyone ’s ears perked up.
”All those who decide not to participate will be stripped of their Core Rank and benefits, and be unable to enter the next Core Competition for ten years. ” His words were like fireworks.
”What?! Holy shit! That ’s crazy harsh! ”
”Is this for real? Either risk it or lose one ’s status and faction?! ”
”An impossible choice! Those that leave the Core Rank often have very short life expectancy. Do you remember Ni Tu? ”
”Oh yeah, the one who lost to Wei Wuyin and his corpse showed up a few weeks later? ”
”What will they choose?! Is this even a choice?! ”
The crowd was going absolutely nuts because of this condition. Either you participate or you lose your rank and status. You lose your right to establish and maintain a faction and your enemies would go after you. Those in the Core Rank had protective barriers placed on them. In fact, if Jiu Lang ’s assassins had killed Wei Wuyin, she would ’ve been executed.
This was not an exaggeration.
They were ordered to injure, not kill. However, only assassins would be able to sneak and find an opportunity to strike without the person being on guard.
It was also why Chu Yan didn ’t dare to resort to something like poison or directly killing with his own hands, but wanted to use the hands of others to do so. If he did, the sect would slam down on him and investigate thoroughly. His entire family and clan would definitely be implicated. Let ’s not even mention the blowback would hit Jiu Lang, and she would also suffer severe consequences.
If that foreign individual had killed Wei Wuyin, the investigation would have determined that they were not responsible and it was due to a love affair. Nothing would come of it but the eventual hunting and slaughtering of that man, the woman, their entire family, and clan to set an example to the world.
Even Wei Wuyin didn ’t dare help Mei Mei because if she died after, even with her status stripped, he could still be killed or crippled under a misunderstanding. Inner Disciples had similar, but very loose protections. As long as he was careful, he could kill an inner disciple without any fuss and get away with it scott-free.
The expression of everyone grew ugly upon hearing this. This was nothing more than forcing them. However, Wei Wuyin ’s eyes flashed with killing intent as he looked at Jiu Lang. If she became an inner disciple, as a beautiful woman with many enemies, he could find an opportunity. Or maybe he wouldn ’t even need one, others may just obliterate her for him.
He laughed coldly in his heart. Having already decided to participate, he didn ’t have any internal struggles.
”All those wishing to withdraw, please say so now. ” Elder Bai had a mirthy smile. These young geniuses were now faced with a near-impossible choice. How could he not have some jealousy in his heart over their talent and relish in their misfortune?
The struggle was revealed in all of their eyes except Wei Wuyin. When Elder Bai saw Wei Wuyin with a calm expression and a faint smile, he was deeply shocked. This child truly might have utmost confidence in his talent.
In the end, no one withdrew. Shu Yang and Shu Yin were close to withdrawing as they argued back and forth, but settled on agreeing.
”Good. Let ’s go. ” Elder Bai led the way to Scarlet Dao Temple as everyone followed.
After a long walk, the ten of them finally reached the Scarlet Dao Temple. Despite its name, it wasn ’t scarlet in color, but a dark-grey. It looked like a simple monastery of a religious group. The only exception was at its doors. The characters for ’Scarlet ’ were embedded in the left door and ’Dao ’ in its right.
They walked in. When they entered, a young woman stood at the center of the hall dressed in an azure robe. She stood next to a monolith that was completely golden with characters carved onto its surface. It stood eight meters high and three grown men had to wrap around it to go from end to end. Its thickness and height wasn ’t its only impressive features, but the gold material it was made of.
It emitted a dense aura of heaven and earth, and the area around it seemed to have a higher quality of Essence of Heaven and Earth. If one cultivated directly beside it, their cultivation speed would definitely increase several-fold.
Wei Wuyin looked at the woman beside the monolith. A single word came to mind: Gorgeous. She stood there straight with blue eyes like the ocean and long, brunette hair that flowed to her back and split at her shoulders. Those strands of hair seemed to be perfect, and they led one ’s gaze to a deep and bountiful cleavage.
Her height wasn ’t impressive, being average, but her slim, bottle-like frame, incredible curves, and flawless jade skin left one breathless. Wei Wuyin had seen beautiful, but not this beautiful.
Her long, thin eyelashes and phoenix-like eyes that seemed to carry the truth to immortality was far beyond anything he ’d ever seen.
It wasn ’t just him who was shocked by the woman. Shu Yang, Tao Gui, and He Long were also speechless with intense eyes. He Long was the worst of the four, his pants grew tighter and revealed a modest tent. Despite being a sword-wielder, his bearing was torn down before true beauty.
Elder Bai had led them in, but his head was down and he immediately said, ”I ’ll leave them to you, Godlord Lin. ” He hastily left without hesitation.
Wei Wuyin broke free from his stupor and his eyes flashed with vigilance and shock. ”Godlord?! ”
Those who could be called Godlord by title were insane experts, those who ’ve far exceeded the Sixth Phase and entered the Eighth Phase, Infused Spirituality! It was the last great watershed of cultivation in the Qi Condensation Realm.
The others reacted just as intensely. They knew that those at Godlord level were characters that ruled the Five Great Sects and Wu Country. In fact, there was only a single Godlord in the entire sect and it was the Head Elder, otherwise known as Ancestral Elder by title. Even the Vice Sect Leader, Sect Leader, and Prime Elders weren ’t in this realm.
However, the head elder of the sect was a male, this much they knew, so who was she?!
Her beautiful phoenix eyes swept them. It was as if all they had was unconcealable from her gaze. She lingered on Jiu Lang for a second, causing her heart to jump and feel insecure. She instinctively folded her arms around her chest, revealing her own bountiful mounds.
Luckily for Jiu Lang, she moved her gaze away and looked at Wei Wuyin. There wasn ’t much lingering as she swiftly moved on.
He Long made a step and walked forward.
Suddenly, he kneeled on one knee. ”I, He Long, have never seen someone so beautiful, more beautiful than the moon in the sky. I have given my life to the sword, but I realize that the Grand Sword Dao pales in comparison to you. For what have I been cultivating for if not for this moment. I wish to ask for your hand in marriage. ” His words were sincere and provoked silence and odd looks from everyone.
”This… ” Wei Wuyin was taken aback. Did he not hear Elder Bai ’s words? He had said those words purposefully so they knew not to offend a beauty out of lust. Her cultivation base was so profound, a breath could turn them into dust.
Inwardly, he couldn ’t help but have some praise in his heart. He Long had some courage to propose with a weak cultivation and young heart. His potential hasn ’t even been fully revealed but he took his shot.
Not many would.
A few expected the woman to send him to the afterlife, but what happened next shocked them even more.
”I will accept, if… ” those four words were like thundering waves battering their minds. Her voice was also beautiful and soft, but held a unique power that could uplift the spirit.
”If you can reach the fifth level of this cultivation method. ” When her words finished, they all looked towards He Long. His gaze was focused on the monolith as a faint hope emerged in his chest. He got up and nodded with confidence, ”Then, It ’s a pleasure to meet you my beloved wife. ” A confident smile was on his face.
”This guy…is he an idiot? ” Wei Wuyin didn ’t bother anymore, but he wouldn ’t lie and say he wasn ’t tempted to take his shot too. In fact, he may as well do so since he was going to cultivate the method regardless.
Tao Gui and Shu Yang also stepped forwardly simultaneously and heavily kneeled on one knee. They also proclaimed their desire to marry this Godlord whose name they didn ’t even know outside of Lin. Shu Ying, Shu Yang ’s twin sister, had an odd expression on her face. A trace of jealousy and disdain flickered in her eyes.
Jiu Lang, Lang Yi, Yan Zhu, and Qu Gui watched this and contempt emerged in their eyes. This was pathetic to them, and jealousy was also in their eyes. To see such beauty before them left them feeling inferior. They pushed all their negative thoughts towards those boys.
Wei Wuyin helplessly smiled as he withdrew his thought of doing the same, and looked at the monolith. He couldn ’t help but grow curious about its origins and the method within. A method that, if cultivated to a high enough level, allowed a Godlord character to be willing to marry someone they didn ’t know.
However, the next words of the woman was like a nightmare from hell, dousing their ambitions. ”Any of you who doesn ’t cultivate to at least the second level, I ’ll cripple you for your words. ”
The three were shocked and their hearts shook with fear, but Wei Wuyin interjected, ”Why worry about the future? Your goal is the fifth level, right? ”
His words were like a lifeline in a cold lake, bringing them to shore. Indeed, since their goal was the fifth, why worry about anything lower? They would reach that easily!
The Godlord glanced at Wei Wuyin.
Wei Wuyin saw her glance and turned respectful, no longer daring to speak out of turn.
”I ’ll begin and explain the rules. No one is permitted to speak during, ” she said before turning towards the golden monolith. ”This monolith records an ancient qi method, one whose origins exceed ten thousand years. It is called the Haven Heart Qi Method, and it ’s a cultivation guideline that has seven levels. The goal of the method is to develop an additional Heart of Qi. ”
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