Chapter 279: The Five Trials of the First Selection
Indeed, it was as Jiang Chen had thought, the four great sects felt a great sense of urgency these days.
If it wasn’t for this sense of crisis, with the level of status the four great forefathers had, they would never appear in front of ordinary practitioners, much less speak to them.
Forefather Sunchaser continued, announcing the rules.
“I trust that everyone’s received a small bit of intelligence with regards to this time’s great selection. I am here to emphasize the rules. The great selection is divided into three stages. The first stage is the initial selection. Once you pass, you’ll enter a second round that will last three years with the disciples of the four great sects. The strongest 64 will be chosen from this group and they will enter the final round. From there, the strongest sixteen will be selected and divided accordingly amongst the four sects, receiving personal guidance from the forefathers. To speak candidly, they will become our personal disciples, even true disciples!”
Personal disciples personally receive guidance from the forefathers.
But, true disciples were disciples that could inherit the forefather’s legacy, an even more advanced level than personal disciples.
The three stages of the great selection were clearly delineated.
The first stage was to pick out the cream of the crop, about ten thousand from four hundred thousand people.
They would then join the sect disciples in entering the second round of the great selection.
This stage would be the longest, running for three years straight.
These three years would not only be the second round, but also a cultivation process. Hidden potential and strength would come to light in this stage, and competition would be fierce.
This round would rank the top 64 candidates.
These 64 would then enter the third stage, where the final 16 would finally emerge.
These 16 participants were destined to be the final winner.
Of course, many of those present lacked the ambition to mount a challenge to reach the list of the final 16.
They didn’t feel that their strength gave them the right to contend with those preeminent sect disciples.
However, they could make a play for one of the three thousand slots to enter the sects.
That was a more reasonable goal.
“Remember, we are taking a holistic approach in this time’s selection. You may not have the best potential, but if you display other unique talents in other areas, you may still have the chance to enter the sects. If these talents are particularly extraordinary, then you may receive added attention. The quota for us four old folks are four personal disciples, but if you have particular skills in other areas, we will open a backdoor for you. Of course, the caveat is that your potential must be great enough to draw our attentions.”
“For instance, if you have incredible skill in the dao of pills, or you possess a remarkable affinity in the area of taming spirit creatures. Or if you have a masterful grasp of ancient glyphs, constructing mechanisms, comprehension of formations, or others, then hope exists yet to enter the sects.”
Forefather Sunchaser expounded in as much detail as he could, and paused after these words. He wanted to give the audience some time to digest these messages, and give everyone sufficient time to analyze their own potential.
“This means that even if I lose on the basis of martial dao potential, I still have a chance if my potential in other areas is equally as stunning?”
“Tsk tsk, my teacher said that I have an innate sensitivity for formations, perhaps I’m a formation genius?”
“Pfft, keep dreaming. Formations aren’t that easy. But me however, I’ve had an ability to communicate with spirit creatures since my youth. Perhaps I’ll become a disciple of the Myriad Spirit Sect!”
The Myriad Spirit Sect was the sect most adept at training and raising spirit creatures. Almost all its disciples had talents in this area.
Therefore, when one fought against a Myriad Spirit Sect disciple, not only would one fight against the practitioner, but one would also have to contend with their opponent’s contracted spirit creature.
It was possible that the contracted spirit creatures of some of the more unbelievable disciples would be stronger than the master!
“Heh heh, good, this is fantastic. My potential for the dao of pills has never been able to find an avenue to showcase itself. This is my chance, my goal is the Precious Tree Sect!”
The Precious Tree Sect was the undisputed king of pills within the four great sects. Any youths with potential in the area of pills would be setting their sights on the Precious Tree sect.
“Humph. These daydreaming idiots. In the world of martial dao, it’s naturally martial dao that is king. So what if you use unconventional methods to advance into the sect when your martial dao is lacking? You’ll just be a servant for others. Only martial dao is the undying legend and the king of all! In this life, my focus is only on martial dao. I will use the sword in my hand to enter the Purple Sun Sect!”
These were naturally the words of a young man focused on martial dao.
When it came to the atmosphere of martial dao and its foundations, the Purple Sun Sect was undoubtedly the strongest.
As for the remaining Flowing Wind Sect, it didn’t measure up to the Precious Tree Sect in terms of the dao of pills, nor was it the Purple Sun Sect’s equivalent for martial dao legacy, and it was naturally below the Myriad Treasures Sect in terms of taming spirit creatures.
However, the Flowing Wind Sect had a skill that no other sect could best, and that was the ability in unearthing geniuses.
The Flowing Wind Sect had a set of methods that was particularly adept at unearthing geniuses with undiscovered potential and digging out gold from the sands.
It was this skill that had enabled the Flowing Wind Sect to discover many geniuses. These special methods and its uncommon foundations put it completely on par with the others in the four great sects.
Every practitioner had a sect that they were particularly disposed towards.
Some liked the Purple Sun Sect’s emphasis on martial dao, others liked the Precious Tree Sect’s focus on pills, yet others leaned towards the Myriad Spirit Sect’s invincibility in taming spirit creatures, and of course there were those who wished that they had special talents that would be identified by the Flowing Wind Sect.
However, they were still a bit worried.
“So how is this first stage going to be conducted? How will they discover if we have uncommon potential?”
“Yeah, and with so many of us, what if they miss one?”
“Don’t you worry, I don’t believe that they wouldn’t have considered these problems since they’re conducting this selection!”
“The four great sects possess great arts, they naturally have their ways. Stop fussing.”
With the four forefathers’ hearing, they heard snatches of all of the various conversations taking place beneath the stage.
Forefather Sunchaser laughed heartily, “There must be those amongst you that worry how we will discover your potential amongst the hundreds of thousands of participants?”
“I can tell you, it’s not difficult!”
Sunchaser’s tone was confident. “Unless you purposefully hide your potential and don’t wish to be discovered, the tests will be enough to fully display your talents!”
“And now, I will explain the rules of the first stage.”
“There are five trials in the first stage. We’ve combined particular characteristics of the terrain of the legacy territory to build the tests.”
“The first trial is one of the heart. In the world of martial dao, regardless of what your potential is, you must pass the trial of the heart. If you fail to pass even that, then you are destined for mediocrity in this world. Without a strong heart on the path of dao, you will amount to nothing in the end!”
The trial of the heart was the first one!
Jiang Chen privately applauded Sunchaser in his heart. These were rules set personally by the forefathers alright! To put a trial of the heart as the first one, this proved their status as origin realm practitioners.
Those who had entered the origin realm all knew how difficult it was to form a spirit infant.
Ye Chonglou had continuously failed to advance because he hadn’t placed enough emphasis on the strength of the heart.
The forefathers had no relationship with Ye Chonglou and naturally wouldn’t give him any pointers.
Seeing the forefathers set a trial of the heart as the first test indicated that they knew that strength of the heart was a vital prerequisite to assailing the origin realm.
“The second trial is one of innate talents. You will face many decisions in this trial. You can choose a test of martial dao, a test of pills, or a test of formations. Of course, the best thing to do is to run through all of them once. You will have more opportunities to excavate your own potential this way!”
To put a trial of talent as the second test, that made sense as well.
It wasn’t that those with ordinary talent couldn’t raise their level of training to perfection in the world of martial dao, but that they were as rare as the scales on a dragon compared to geniuses.
Jiang Chen had once heard of such an example in his past life. The person in question had been called Han Li and was born quite ordinary with no spirit base in his body, but had become the strongest in his world and ascended to the world of immortals in the end.
However, examples of practitioner with mediocre talent training to the level of perfection were pitifully few and far in between.
This was also to say that talent was still quite important on the path of training.
The potential of Jiang Chen’s body could only be characterized as ordinary, but he could raise that through the various methods he’d gleaned from his past life.
“The third trial is one of endurance and potential. In this trial, you will face the Endless Mountain. There are ten thousand steps in the mountain, divided into ten floors. The level of floors and steps you can take will partition your endurance and potential. Someone else will explain the exact rules to you in detail before you enter.”
“The fourth trial is one of practical combat. Combat cannot be avoided on the path of martial dao. This will test your skills in actual fighting and your comprehension of martial arts techniques. If the trial of talent was to test your innate skills, then this one is to test your understanding and skill in actual combat.”
Talents and comprehension were similar, but still different.
Innate talents were the potential that one was born with, such as Long Juxue’s azure phoenix constitution. That was an innate talent, and a premier one at that.
Comprehension was one’s powers of understanding.
It was difficult to say whether talent or understanding was more important in the world of martial dao. But if one possessed both, then they would be the ‘genius’ that people often spoke of.
To test endurance and potential first, and then skill in practical combat, this was to avoid the injuries of the combat trial affecting the previous trials. This arrangement was reasonable as well.
Jiang Chen also inwardly approved of this. They were origin realm old monsters alright. They had fully considered details from all aspects and weren’t haphazardly designing the first selection.
“The fifth trial may sound a bit silly, but it’s something that no one can overlook. We will be testing fortune in this trial. Fortune appears as something abstract and intangible, but it’s something that cannot be ignored in the world of martial dao. Some have extraordinary potential, others have superb powers of comprehension, but why can they not make it to the peak of martial dao? What are they lacking? That would be fortune. There was once a great practitioner who was suddenly struck to death by lightning during a journey. This is a classic example of lacking good fortune. So do not treat this trial lightly.”
Jiang Chen had to be impressed by the four forefathers when he heard about this last trial.
From the looks of things, these four forefathers were indeed at the level of a preeminent existence of the sixteen kingdom alliance!