Bai Xiaochun’s eyes widened into a glare, and if it weren’t for the fact that Master Cloud-Dao was pulling him away, he would almost certainly have begun arguing with the cultivator named Chen, who looked on coldly as the two of them left the cave.
Then, a loud bang could be heard as the door slammed shut. Moments later, a cold voice echoed out from inside the cave. “Can’t wait? Go challenge the trials yourself then!”
“Fine!” Bai Xiaochun barked back angrily. “What’s so amazing about getting into the top 1,000 anyway? If you don’t want to help, so be it, but there’s no need to be such a jerk about it!!”
Master Cloud-Dao smiled bitterly and quickly tried to comfort Bai Xiaochun. “Calm down, Junior Brother Bai.” He shook his head. “Ai. Look, all of the people in the top 1,000 are top Chosen! They’re not the type of people we can just tell what to do. The sect views them all as important future figures, especially those who are in the top few hundred in the rankings. For example, I heard that not too long ago, Sima Feiru occupied an entire cultivation district and wouldn’t let anyone enter. It caused quite a disturbance, but in the end, nothing was done about it. Nobody wanted to risk offending him.”
Bai Xiaochun had heard of this Sima Feiru, and knew that he ranked somewhere in the 90’s. He was a spectacular and domineering Chosen, not from the Hall of Devil Slayers, but rather, from the Hall of the Sect Sanctum.
Next, it was to Bai Xiaochun’s sorrow that Master Cloud-Dao led him to the third location, and then the fourth....
Of the few dozen cultivators in the Hall of Devil Slayers who were in the top 1,000, most were currently in secluded meditation, and others were away. As the day passed, not a single Chosen paid any attention to Bai Xiaochun and Master Cloud-Dao. The two of them were either ignored or outright rejected. Although different expressions could be seen on the faces of the various Chosen, none of them could hide the arrogance that seeped out from their very bones. Bai Xiaochun couldn’t have been more irritated.
“They’re as arrogant as spirit tail chickens!” By now it was evening, and Bai Xiaochun was both furious and humiliated at how this seemingly inconsequential task had gone. In fact, he even felt the impulse to simply go try to get into the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Superstars.
“Junior Brother Bai, ai, look there’s still one more left. He’s more reasonable than the others, we should definitely be able to succeed!! Don’t get angry. This is just how Chosen are! They fought their way through a crowd of tens of thousands to get to where they are now. Think of the danger involved in that! It’s only natural that they would be a bit proud and arrogant....” Master Cloud-Dao had been cajoling Bai Xiaochun in this way the entire day. Although he did feel slightly embarrassed about what had occurred, he was also a bit derisive of Bai Xiaochun for relying on Feng Youde to do everything for him. If he had true skill, why didn’t he just take the challenge himself instead of going around begging for help?
Bai Xiaochun took a deep breath, suppressed his feelings of depression and followed Master Cloud-Dao to the final immortal's cave. As it turned out, this cultivator was a bit more reasonable. After hearing the request, he smiled immediately.
“Ah, this is a simple matter. I’ve actually done things like this before. However, I charge an intermediary fee. Junior Brother Bai, I've heard quite a lot about you, so for a mere 1,000,000 merit points, I can get those medicinal plants for you!”
Bai Xiaochun’s eyes went wide. 1,000,000 merit points wasn't a price he couldn’t afford, but the seven-colored mistysea grass he wanted should only cost a few tens of thousands. And yet this guy wanted to charge him 1,000,000?
Seeing Bai Xiaochun’s expression, the cultivator smiled, a smile of both disdain and confidence. “Think it’s expensive? Don’t want to pay? That’s fine! If you’re good enough, just go try to get into the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Superstars. If you can get into the top 1,000, then you won't need any help from me at all.”
Trying to keep his breathing calm, Bai Xiaochun spun on his heel and, without saying a single word, walked off. Master Cloud-Dao hurried along behind him, sighing. Worried that Bai Xiaochun was going to devolve into a rage, he prepared to offer some words of consolation. However, after some distance, Bai Xiaochun stopped and turned to him.
“Many thanks for your help today, Master Cloud-Dao.”
After a moment of hesitation, Master Cloud-Dao said, “Um... Junior Brother Bai, listen, we can still make this happen. Let’s just go talk to the hallmaster. He can issue a Dharmic decree, and force them to help you whether or not they want to.”
Bai Xiaochun had obviously noticed the veiled looks of scorn that Master Cloud-Dao had attempted to hide throughout the day. Gritting his teeth, he said, “There’s no need!”
Master Cloud-Dao eyes widened. “You mean--”
“It’s only the top 1,000, right? I’ll challenge the trials!” Flicking his sleeve, he transformed into a beam of light that shot toward his immortal's cave.
Master Cloud-Dao stood there watching him leave. After a moment, he laughed softly. “If you actually have what it takes, then why did you need to go begging for help? I bet that within a few days, you’ll be back asking for help from the hallmaster.”
After returning to his immortal's cave, Bai Xiaochun rested for a bit, then sent a message to his Dao protectors, asking them to get as much information as they could about the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Superstars. During the following month, all sorts of inquiries were made.
Another half a month passed. Finally, Bai Xiaochun felt that he was well enough prepared. Gritting his teeth, he said, “It’s only the top 1,000, right? What's so special about that? When I come back, I’ll definitely be in the top 1,000!”
Eyes glittering, he packed a few things and then headed for the teleportation portal leading to Myriad Star Rainbow and the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Superstars trials.
The trials took up nearly thirty percent of Myriad Star Rainbow, and regardless of the time of day or night, the entrance was almost always packed with people. People went into the trials all the time, and if anyone ever succeeded in causing their own star to rise in the ranks, people would immediately notice and get jealous.
The entrance to the trial was an ancient, greenish-black door, fully 3,000 meters tall, carved with countless profound magical symbols that emanated bizarre light and tremendous pressure.
The door was flanked by two enormous statues that depicted, not cultivators, but rather, enormous lion-like beasts, completely fierce and savage in appearance.
The door was opened by just a crack, a crack which from a distance seemed very small, but was actually several dozen meters wide, leaving plenty of room for cultivators to come and go. Even as Bai Xiaochun arrived, he saw a handsome man in a green Daoist robe flying toward the entrance on a cloud.
As soon as the other surrounding cultivators saw the man, they began to cry out.
“That’s Zhao Yidong from Starry Quarter Rainbow! Elder Brother Zhao!”
“This time, Elder Brother Zhao is definitely going to get into the top 1,000!!”
“Yeah, that’s what I was thinking. Elder Brother Zhao is a Chosen from Starry Quarter Rainbow, and a member of the Hall of Sea Sentinels. The first time he took the trial, he got into the top 5,000. The second time, he made it into the top 3,000. And the third time, he got to 1,500th place. This is his fourth time, and I have the feeling he’ll definitely get into the top 1,000!”
Even as they cried out, the star representing Elder Brother Zhao on the green section of the rainbow lit up, prompting even more people to pay attention to it.
Even as everyone focused their attention on Zhao Yidong, Bai Xiaochun took a deep breath and headed toward the gate. Virtually no one was paying attention to him at all; everyone wanted to see if Zhao Yidong would make it into the top 1,000.
The major milestones in the trial were the 10,000th spot, then the 1,000th, 500th, and 100th. Furthermore, breaking through to a higher-ranking level would provide vastly more incredible rewards.
Rising in the rankings in the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Superstars was a way to make a name for oneself. Being in the top 10,000 could be a point of great pride, but only by breaking into the top 1,000 could one truly be considered a true Chosen of the Halls!
Anyone who made it into the top 500 would be considered a Chosen of the Quarters. After that was the top 100. Anyone who reached that level was considered to be a true superstar of the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect!
“I can do it too!” Bai Xiaochun thought, his eyes flashing with determination. Because of what he had experienced in the Hall of Devil Slayers, and because of the passionate atmosphere around him, Bai Xiaochun’s heart was starting to pound in excitement. He suddenly felt the same as he had back in his Qi Condensation days, when he was challenging the stone steles of plants and vegetation.
With that, he shot forward toward the crack in the door, and in the blink of an eye, was inside. Rumbling sounds filled his ears, and his vision swam as numerous images flashed by. Everything was a blur, almost as if the entire world had been turned upside down.
A force began to drag at him that, when combined with the power of the teleportation exerted upon him by the door, became an incredible pressure, like a huge hand grabbing at him and pulling him into another dimension!
His entire body was shaking, and his face drained of blood; this was his first time experiencing a teleportation this intense. Were it not for his powerful cultivation base, he might have been trembling on the point of collapse right now.
Actually, everyone who took the trial experienced this. The truth was that anyone who couldn’t handle the pressure would be ejected; the trial by fire actually began with this teleportation!
As things became clear, a blast of heat hit his face, and based on the aroma he had just smelled, he even wondered if his hair was being burned away. He quickly backed up a few steps and looked around to find himself in a world whose border was made up of crimson cliffs.
Beneath the cliffs was a sea of lava that stretched out as far as the eye could see. Fire raged and liquid rock surged, causing intense rumbling sounds to echo out in all directions.
At the same time, numerous wild beasts flew out of the cliffs and attempted to make their way off into the distance.
However, many of them were scorched by the flames, and ended up being burned into ash and swallowed up by the sea.Previous Chapter Next Chapter