After entering the hall, Chen Feng heard a thudding sound of things crashing together. Occasionally, shouts could be heard. He could even sense strands of sword energy seeping out from the depths of the hall.
Soon, two youngsters, bodies covered in blood, were brought out.
They had failed to pass the stage and were eliminated from the assessment.
Naturally, there were also some who passed. Although they cut quite the sorry sight, the smile on their faces revealed that they had passed.
Chen Feng inspected them carefully. Regardless if they had passed or failed, their bodies would – without exception – end up with some wounds. There was even a 16-year-old youngster, whose whole arm was dislocated. The pain was such that he was sweating all over. However, he had passed and was presently receiving treatment.
“So dangerous?” Lu Ta grew slightly concerned.
“Be careful,” Chen Feng whispered.
“Fellows, it’s your turn.” A cultivator opened up a few rooms and Chen Feng and the others entered their respective rooms.
Right after entering the room, Chen Feng noticed a humanoid puppet appearing before him. It was unknown just what were used in the forging of the battle puppet. Its entire body was greyish-black. Not a strand of aura emanated from the puppet, nor were there any energy fluctuations.
However, after circulating his Longevity Scripture’s cultivation formula, Chen Feng was able to quickly notice that the battle puppet before him was made from a type of rare and tough wood. As a result, it possessed a higher level of resilience.
Seeing Chen Feng enter, the battle puppet jumped and arrived before Chen Feng. Its thick fist brought strong winds with it as it swung towards Chen Feng.
Chen Feng’s figure swayed as he casually dodged the incoming attack. Next, the battle puppet continued to attack Chen Feng furiously. Moreover, the power behind each attack kept growing stronger.
The battle puppet possessed only speed and strength. It did not possess any special attacks. However, Chen Feng noticed that the surface of the battle puppets was engraved with battle-type magic arrays. It could constantly adjust its power according to the strength of its opponent. Chen Feng could sense it. The power displayed by the battle puppet had risen from level 1 of the Concealed stage to level 3 of the Concealed stage. For any other cultivators, by now, they would have been dragged out, their bodies filled with wounds. However, the battle puppet had failed to strike even the corner of Chen Feng’s clothes.
Chen Feng knew that he could not drag this out. Quite some time had passed and there were a few divine senses watching over him. If his performance was too great, however, things might end badly.
With a swing, Chen Feng’s fist smashed heavily against the battle puppet. Chen Feng remained standing while the battle puppet was sent flying. It then smashed down against the ground.
Impressive. Even a level 3 Concealed stage cultivator would be incapable of taking this attack of mine, but this battle puppet is completely fine. Chen Feng was slightly shocked.
“It is made from Blacksilk Nan Wood and is engraved with 99 magic arrays. Half of it are defensive magic arrays,” Tower said.
Chen Feng was just about to attack again, but saw that the battle puppet had remained immobile after getting up.
A soft voice spoke up from some unknown place. However, Chen Feng could detect the hint of shock in the voice.
There are three people there. None of them have condensed out their Soulflames yet, Chen Feng thought.
When Chen Feng came out, he saw that Lu Ta was already waiting for him with a smile on his face.
“It seems you passed as well?” Chen Feng asked, a smile on his face as well.
“Ha ha, naturally. I had only just smacked the battle puppet on the head when the fellows inside told me to stop.” Lu Ta laughed out.
Chen Feng and Lu Ta had easily passed the stage. However, when they returned to their room, they saw that there were three people missing. As for those who passed, their bodies were all bruised and wounded. It was quite the miserable sight.
Another three days went by before this stage ended. In total, 3,000 cultivators were rejected.
The original number of over 40,000 had been reduced to only 30,000. Chen Feng felt slightly fearful.
“Humph! This is nothing. They are all small fries. So what if there are more of them? At any rate, I don’t see any real talent around here,” Tower said in a contemptuous tone.
“I wonder how many more stages we need to pass in order to become an outer disciple of Extreme Celestial Sect?” Lu Ta asked with a wry smile.
Originally, Chen Feng had planned to take out the recommendation letter that Bai Ziyan gave him. However, after considering it for a moment, he decided against it. Using the recommendation letter could certainly make him a disciple of Extreme Celestial Sect. In fact, it might directly make him an inner disciple. And yet, the consequences of doing so was that he might end up attracting the attention of some powerful figures. Chen Feng did not want to stand out. At the very least, he did not want to cause any incidents before his strength improved.
Additionally, Lu Ta was with him right now.
Chen Feng planned on entering Extreme Celestial Sect and cultivate quietly for a while first. Given his present level of strength, by concentrating on cultivation, it would not be an issue for him to break through to level 3 or even level 4 of the Concealed stage.
Chen Feng did not want to shine too brightly. He wanted to climb up Extreme Celestial Sect with his own strength. That was true strength.
And thus, three more days went by. Everyone returned to the plaza where another assessment began. This time, it was a one-on-one battle. The loser had to leave while the winner could stay.
Truth be told, Chen Feng felt that this method was both fair and unfair. It was fair because there was no better way to figure out who to eliminate from the assessment. It was unfair because sometimes, two outstanding talents might end up fighting each other. One must fall in the end. The one to fall could only blame his or her own luck.
Chen Feng was not concerned because he did not believe there was anyone there stronger than him.
As expected, Chen Feng’s opponent was a level 2 Concealed stage cultivator.
His opponent only saw him as another level 2 Concealed stage cultivator. The fight began.
After exchanging around 10 blows with his opponent, Chen Feng finished the fight decisively. His hand casually grabbed his opponent’s flying sword.
“Just consider yourself unlucky for encountering me,” Chen Feng said with a faint smile.
This move from Chen Feng immediately shocked those around him. Grabbing a grade 2 flying sword was not something that a level 2 Concealed stage cultivator could accomplish. Even the Extreme Celestial Sect disciples charged with preserving order were unable to stop themselves from turning to give Chen Feng several glances.
Surprisingly, Lu Ta’s opponent was like him, a level 3 Concealed stage cultivator. Despite having fought for quite some time, no winner could be determined.
Chen Feng raised his brows and he slowly approached the place where the two were fighting.
Lu Ta’s opponent was an agile, short man. His movement techniques far surpassed Lu Ta and was the reason why the fight had lasted so long.
After observing the fight for a moment, Chen Feng relaxed. Given the way the fight was developing, Lu Ta would surely win in the end.
Finally, Lu Ta took two of his opponent’s attacks head on while quickly rushing forward. With a slap, he sent the short cultivator flying. The flying sword, no longer receiving any command from its owner, hovered in the air for a moment before falling to the ground.
“Humph! You want to pierce through my grade 5 magic robe with a grade 3 flying sword? Dream on,” Lu Ta said with a smile.
“If our gears are of the same grade, you would be no match for me.” The short man climbed up and cast an aggrieved look at Lu Ta. Earlier, Lu Ta had held back.
“What a joke! Weapons and gears make up part of a person’s strength. Sorry, mate, but you’re out. Better luck next year.” Lu Ta smiled.
This time, half of the cultivators there were eliminated from the assessment. Not even half of the original 40,000 remained.
Originally, Chen Feng had assumed that there would be more assessments. However, the three Sky Human stage cultivators from the beginning of the assessments re-appeared and announced the end of the assessments. From that moment onwards, Chen Feng and all others present had been accepted as outer disciples of Extreme Celestial Sect.
Hearing that, the entire plaza broke into a joyous uproar. Some of the younger cultivators were even sobbing from the joy.
“That is all it takes to pass? Isn’t it too simple?” Lu Ta was slightly shocked.
“Entering the outer part is still a very simple thing. The hard part is becoming a formal disciple of Extreme Celestial Sect. Truth be told, we cannot truly be considered formal disciples yet,” said a cultivator beside them. He appeared to be around 20 years old.
“How do we become formal disciples?” Lu Ta asked.
“Self-cultivation, contribute to the sect and maintain an upright way of life,” the young cultivator said with a smile.
Chen Feng and Lu Ta nodded their heads and said nothing. That was the way things work in most sects.
Outer disciples of Extreme Celestial Sect flew forward – in teams – from between the two mountains. Those were all veterans who had joined Extreme Celestial Sect for some time. Each of them was responsible for leading 10 of the new recruits into Extreme Celestial Mountain and arrange living quarters and daily affairs for them.
The one responsible for Chen Feng’s group of 10 new recruits was a smiling, short fatty. He was only 20 years old. Although he was not tall, his pair of eyes darted about swiftly. One glance was sufficient to tell that he was a shrewd fellow. Additionally, he had already cultivated up to level 3 of the Concealed stage. After cultivating up to the Initial Profundity realm, one can truly become a formal disciple of Extreme Celestial Sect.
“Fellows, follow me. I will lead you all to your living quarters,” said the short fatty, whose name was Luo Fang.
After making their way past the two large mountains guarding the way, Chen Feng felt his body shudder. Thick waves of spiritual energy blew towards them, eliciting a shocked expression from his face. Since embarking upon the path of cultivation, this was his first time coming to a place with such a thick amount of spiritual energy.
Raising his head, he saw winding mountains, cool shades from celestial-like trees, flocks of celestial cranes. There were spiritual animals everywhere and clear spring water flowed through rocky terrain and cliffs. There were also spiritual herbs. Chen Feng felt as though he had entered a wholly different world.
“Could this be the Immortal Plane?” one of the cultivators cried out.
The short fatty, Luo Pang, had seemingly gotten used to those expressions on the cultivators’ faces. He chuckled and said, “For our Eternal World, this place is the Immortal Plane. When I first entered, I too, had the same expression on my face.”
Chen Feng noticed that his group was not the only one. Even the other cultivators coming in after them would reveal the same expressions. They revealed shock before crying out in astonishment.
“The spiritual energy here is three to four times thicker compared to the outside world. In other words, cultivating here for one day is the equivalent of cultivating for three to four days for loose cultivators,” Luo Fang said with a smile.
After they had recollected themselves, they followed Luo Fang forward again. They advanced for around one hour before Luo Fang brought them to a mountaintop.
The mountain had a radius of tens of li and was 100 zhang tall. A clear trail ran along the surface of the mountain, which was filled with trees. As they went up the mountain, they saw that there were small of courtyards on the upper half portion of the mountain. Although not refined, the surrounding clumps of spiritual energy made it seem like paradise on earth.
“These will be your living quarters in the future,” Luo Fang said with a smile.
(1 li = 0.5 km; 1 zhang = 3.333 m)Previous Chapter Next Chapter