In the stone house, Yang Ye, his younger sister, and his mother sat before a dining table made of rock. There were three dishes and a bowl of soup on the table. All three dishes were meat dishes, and they were all dishes that Yang Ye really lowed to eat. Especially that plate of sweet and sour pork at the center, and it wasn’t just his favorite, it was Little Yao’s favorite as well.
Even though both of them really loved to eat sweet and sour pork, unless it was an important occasion, they would utterly not have the chance to eat it. Because eating meat was an extremely extravagant thing for their family.
“Big Brother, have some!” Little Yao clamped a piece of sweet and sour pork before placing it on Yang Ye’s bowl, and then she clamped one onto the woman’s bowl. In the end, she clamped a piece for herself. However, she didn’t eat it, and she stretched out her little tongue to lightly lick the sweet and sour pork, and then she revealed an intoxicated expression.
“Child, quickly eat, there’s still a lot on the plate!” The woman stretched out her hand to rub Little Yao’s head while she spoke in a gentle voice.
On the other hand, Yang Ye felt like there was a lump in his throat, and a strand of self-blame and guilt surged into his heart. If I was capable, then Little Yao and mother wouldn’t have to suffer such hardships. If I was capable, then Little Yao and mother wouldn’t be bullied by the Liu Clan. As the only man in this family, I made my younger sister and mother suffer such injustice. I’m so useless!
“Big Brother, quickly have some. You look so thin, so eat a few pieces of sweet and sour pork to replenish your strength!” Meanwhile, Little Yao clamped another piece of pork and placed it on Yang Ye’s bowl as she spoke.
“Exactly!” The woman gazed at Yang Ye with a loving expression and said, “You’ve probably suffered a lot of hardships in the Sword Sect, so eat a bit more.” As she spoke, she clamped a piece of pork and placed it in Yang Ye’s bowl.
Yang Ye’s tears couldn’t help but slowly seep out when he heard this. He picked up the chopstick and forced out a smile before he clamped up a piece of pork and started to eat.
The woman smiled when she saw Yang Ye eating. However, she didn’t eat herself. She just gazed at Yang Ye before gazing at Little Yao for a while, and then she revealed a gratified expression in her eyes.
In next to no time, Yang Ye finished the sweet and sour pork in his bowl. After that, he raised his head to look at the woman and Little Yao with an extremely calm expression, and there were no more fluctuations of emotion on his face any longer.
“Big Brother, don’t look at Yao’er like that, Yao’er is slightly nervous!” Little Yao seemed to be slightly afraid when she was stared at by Yang Ye’s emotionless eyes, and she spoke timidly.
“What’s wrong? Are you not feeling well?” When she noticed that there seemed to be something wrong with Yang Ye, the woman hurriedly stood up and spoke with concern.
Yang Ye didn’t speak, and he just glanced deeply at the woman and Little Yao, and then he closed his eyes slightly. In the next moment, sword qi flashed through the surroundings, and then two strands of blood sprayed onto the ground. At the same time, Yang Ye felt the scene before him shatter while his mind felt slightly dizzy.
After a few breaths of time, Yang Ye opened his eyes. The people in the surroundings, Exam Peak, the blue ring, and everything else that was familiar to him appeared within his field of vision. He took a deep breath and paid no attention to the few thousands of gazes towards him as he walked directly to Elder Qian, and then he cupped his fists towards Elder Qian before walking to the side and remaining silent.
Elder Qian heaved a sigh of relief in his heart. Even though he didn’t know what Yang Ye had encountered in the illusion, based on Yang Ye’s display, Yang Ye had stayed true to his heart and hadn’t gotten lost within it.
But why didn’t he choose to awaken right away? After thinking for a moment, Elder Qian stopped thinking about it because no matter what, it was fine so long as Yang Ye passed.
“Rest on the spot for an hour. The next stage will be a test of strength!” said Elder Qian.
When they heard him, all of them didn’t dare object nor did they dare cry about asking for Yang Ye’s elimination. All of them sat cross-legged on the ground, and they held the Energy Stones distributed by the Sword Sect as they recovered the Profound Energy within their bodies.
Jiang Yuan who was not too far away from Yang Ye glanced at the incense stick that had just finished burning, and then he glanced at Yang Ye who remained silent. After that, he grunted coldly while deep disdain floated up into his eyes. Earlier, he’d thought Yang Ye was an extraordinary figure, yet never had he imagined that Yang Ye was an outer court disciple that had been reduced to a Labor Disciple. When he thought about how he’d offended an outer court elder because of this Labor Disciple, Jiang Yuan felt extremely unhappy in his heart!
“I hope you’ll be able to persist until the top 10!” Jiang Yuan spoke in a low voice, and then he withdrew his gaze.
The reason he hoped that Yang Ye would be able to enter the top 10 was the top 10 disciples would participate in a competition. This competition didn’t just provide rewards from the Sword Sect, there was also another meaning behind it. The higher one was ranked during the competition, the easier it would be for one to be selected by an elder for fostering. Moreover, one could even quickly establish a network of relationships through the competition.
Of course, he hoped Yang Ye would be able to enter the top 10 mainly because he wanted to teach Yang Ye a lesson.
The gaze of the young man with a black mole swept past all the youths that passed the second stage, and then his gaze descended onto Jiang Yuan in the end. He said, “Amongst the 600 people that passed, he woke up the quickest, and he utilized less than 100 breaths of time. He’s probably that genius from Snow River City!”
The round faced young man by the side of the young man with a black mole nodded and said, “According to rumor, he’s a ninth rank Mortal Realm Profounder, and his true strength is probably at the peak of the ninth rank. After he becomes a disciple of the sect and is fostered by the sect for a period of time, he’ll probably be able to advance into the First Heaven Realm. Moreover, if no other monstrous geniuses appear, then he’ll probably be able to become the number one expert in the outer court once the disciples from our batch become inner court disciples!”
The young man with a black mole said indifferently, “Such natural talent to attain the peak of the ninth rank of the Mortal Realm at the age of 16 is not bad indeed, and once he’s fostered for some time, he’ll definitely be very promising. However, it looks to me like he’s extremely arrogant and doesn’t know how to restrain his edge. Such a disposition will cause him to suffer a great deal in the future.”
The young man with a round face smiled as he said, “It’s extremely normal for young people to be arrogant when they’re capable. Just think about it, both of us were insufferably arrogant when that demonic woman hadn’t arrived, and we didn’t take anyone seriously. Even though we’ve restrained a great deal of our arrogance now, but I’m very clearly aware that we’re still extremely proud in our bones. The only way to change this is to be struck down!”
The young man with a black mole nodded, and then he looked at Yang Ye and went silent for a short while before he said, “He’s extremely strange. His eyes were bright and clear when he awoke just now, and there weren’t any fluctuations of emotions on his face. This proved that he’d stayed true to his heart since the beginning of the illusion. So, why did he stay so long within the illusion?”
“Perhaps he encountered an extraordinary beauty within the illusion!” It wasn’t the round faced young man that spoke, and it was Liu Qingyu that had been constantly silent behind them. He didn’t interrupt when the two of them spoke about Jiang Yuan, but he couldn’t restrain himself when they spoke about Yang Ye.
The young man with a black mole glanced indifferently at Liu Qingyu and said, “As another disciple on the Outer Court Rankings, let me give you a piece of advice. Never underestimate your opponent!”
Liu Qingyu hurriedly nodded respectfully, and he seemed as if he would commit it to memory. However, he was indifferent in his heart. He still remembered that Yang Ye wasn’t even able to resist a single move of his on that day, so how strong could Yang Ye have become in just around a month of time? He would just have to execute two moves at most!
Yang Ye’s eyes were slightly closed. He didn’t absorb the energy within the Energy Stone. Truthfully speaking, the illusion from before had still affected him. In the past, he’d devoted his life for the sake of his younger sister and mother, and he was still extremely shocked when his mother and younger sister whom he hadn’t met for a very long time had appeared within the illusion.
He was aware since the beginning that it was only an illusion, but he truly didn’t desire to wake up so quickly. However, he knew that such thoughts were intolerable because this Illusion Formation could only be considered as an ordinary Illusion Formation, and if it was a high level Illusion Formation, then he would definitely die from daring to stay within it.
In short, his Martial Dao Will had its weaknesses, and this weakness was his mother and younger sister. If he didn’t deal with this problem, then some other problems might emerge in the future.
When he thought up to here, Yang Ye took a deep breath and said, Once the exam is over, it’s time for me to return home!
An hour passed swiftly.
Elder Cao Huo arrived before the 600 youths that remained, and as he looked at them, the disappointment on Cao Huo’s face was difficult to conceal. The number of people that passed during the Outer Court Exam this time was truly inferior when compared to the last exam. If it was the same next year, then the outer court of the Sword Sect would probably be in an embarrassing state of possessing no one that’s capable.
“I hope those few monstrous geniuses will be able to enter the Ascension Rankings this time, otherwise, the Sword Sect’s future is worrying!” Cao Huo muttered in a light voice as he gazed at the 600 youths.
After a short moment, Cao Huo adjusted his emotions and said in a clear and bright voice, “The next stage will test your live combat experience. Come with me!”
When they heard this, all of the youths hurriedly stood up and followed behind Cao Huo.
“The Sword Servant Pagoda?” The young man with a black mole spoke in a low voice.
The young man with a round face chuckled and said, “At that time, that demonic woman ascended to the 20th level, and she broke Senior Su’s record from over 10 years ago. I wonder if anyone will be able to challenge that demonic woman’s record this time!”
“Is that even possible?” Someone spoke from behind.