Chapter 237 – XuanTian Trials (1)
“Uh…” Zhou Weiqing swallowed hard. “Let us enter the city to look for the place where they are holding the XuanTian Palace Trials. Master Gu Yu said that the W'Batu City would have a place holding the trials.”
Shangguan Bing’er just smiled faintly at our dear Zhou Little Fatty’s awkward and unsubtle changing of topics; she didn’t call him out on it. Zhou Weiqing couldn’t help but hold her hand tighter. Bing’er was always so thoughtful like that.
W'Batu City was a port city, and it was also the final destination transcribed on the maritime maps in the Sea Emperor Shuttle. They were feeling great now that they had finally reached their destination and actually stepped onto the XuanTian Continent.
The first thing Zhou Weiqing did was purchase a map of the continent. He did not have any XuanTian Continent currency, but Heavenly Cores were treasures everywhere. After selling a few Zun Stage Heavenly Beast Heavenly Cores, he had enough money for both himself and Shangguan Bing’er to spend for quite some time.
After wandering around idly in the city for a time, Zhou Weiqing discovered that it was actually pretty similar to the Boundless Mainland in many ways. Besides a few minor differences in attire, he could not see any other differences.
After looking for an inn to stay in, they simply asked around and quickly gained news about the XuanTian Trials.
W'Batu City was after all an important port city, and how could such a large and populated city miss out on holding the trials. It seemed like they were in luck, as this year’s trial for the W'Batu City would be held in a month’s time.
After learning about all the news, Zhou Weiqing decided to go into closed door cultivation for the duration. During this long journey on the ocean, although they had not really faced any true danger, both he and Shangguan Bing’er had undergone several trials of their own, and they had their own individual understandings and comprehensions, leading to some increase in cultivation. It was a good opportunity for them to use this time to fully comprehend these understandings and merge them with their own cultivation.
Naturally, Shangguan Bing’er also began cultivating with Zhou Weiqing. By now, the Saint Energy in her body was full, and with Zhou Weiqing by her side to support her, she could actually directly use the Saint Energy in her training and cultivation. Once she used up a certain amount of Saint Energy, Zhou Weiqing could easily infuse some into her once more. This allowed Shangguan Bing’er’s cultivation speed to rise rapidly. After only three days of cultivating, she had already broken through to the seven-Jeweled stage.
As for Zhou Weiqing, his own cultivation speed was just as quick as before. Although the Immortal Deity Technique was complete, the improvement of his Saint Energy did not show any signs of slowing down. In the process of gathering, transforming and cleansing, his cultivation seemed to grow naturally. At this point, his Saint Energy was already barely a step from the thirty seventh stage.
However, due to the fact he had completed the Immortal Deity Technique and did not have another cultivation technique, Zhou Weiqing still did not know how he would actually break through the thirty seventh stage. He could only continue growing, improving and gathering, hoping that in the process his Saint Energy would automatically breakthrough.
A month passed in the blink of an eye. Besides cultivating, both Zhou Weiqing and Shangguan Bing’er would sometimes go out for walks to experience life in the new continent and to better understand it.
Their closed door cultivation was indeed effective. In the past month, with the powerful aid of the Saint Energy, Shangguan Bing’er had managed to increase her cultivation by another level, directly reaching the twenty ninth stage. As for Zhou Weiqing, though he was not able to break through to the thirty seventh stage, after a month of meditation and comprehension, his Saint Energy had not only increased in amount but also quality, further compressed and purified. His own understanding towards the Saint Energy and its usage had also deepened. At this point, it seemed like there was just a mere paper thin barrier between him and the thirty-seventh stage, but Zhou Weiqing still did not know how he could puncture that barrier. However, he was extremely clear that as long as he continued improving and accumulating, he would definitely succeed eventually.
In the central square of W'Batu City, it was a big day for them, an annual event of sorts. The W'Batu Governor was already seated on the main platform. A stage which had been built temporarily for the trials was now surrounded by a crowd of excited onlookers, and it was only the presence of a large number of soldiers that maintained order.
“Governor, this is the name list of this year’s trial participants,” a servant reported, handing over a paper.
The W'Batu Governor Sang Tan received the list, but he did not even look at it. Instead, he passed it respectfully to an old man seated next to him. “Master Er Chun, for your perusal if you wish.”
“En.” The elder named Er Chun was wearing a blue robe with a silver crescent symbol embroidered on the left breast.
Opening the list, Master Er Chun swept his gaze through it swiftly before saying passively: “There are more than a hundred participants who have registered for these trials… that is far too many. Pass the order down: only those who are four-Jeweled and above need stay; the rest will be disqualified.”
Sang Tan started momentarily before saying in an awkward tone, “Master… are you sure that’s okay? Previously, our rules stated that the participating limit was three-Jewels!”
Er Chun glared at him coldly, and Sang Tan instantly felt a cold chill run down his spine. “This Elder does not wish to waste so much time here. You just need to announce that this is the decision made by our XuanTian Palace. Do you think our XuanTian Palace needs to answer to those little independent cultivators? If their power is insufficient, what’s the point of joining the trials?”
“Yes, yes.” Sang Tan wiped away the sweat on his forehead, as he thought to himself inwardly. Of course your XuanTian Palace isn’t afraid, but I’m just the W’Batu Governor, I’m still afraid of these Heavenly Jewel Masters causing trouble!
The selection process for the XuanTian Trials was extremely harsh, and Physical Jewel Masters and Elemental Jewel Masters were rejected outright, with only Heavenly Jewel Masters allowed to participate. Originally, the criteria was for them to be below the age of thirty, and at the three-Jeweled stage or higher. This was already considered very strict prerequisites, yet they were now increasing it to the four-Jeweled stage! How could the independent cultivators not be resentful? Of course, they wouldn’t dare do anything about the resentment; after all who dared to offend the XuanTian Palace?
Indeed, after the news was proclaimed, it caused a large disturbance among the participants. Several of the young three-Jeweled Heavenly Jewel Masters who were confident in their strength, Consolidated Equipment and Stored Skills were all complaining. After all, they had already paid to register for the Trials. Of course, just as the W'Batu Governor Sang Tan imagined, though they were dissatisfied and complaining, none of them dared to actually cause trouble. They would not dare offend the XuanTian Palace. This Master Er Chun seated beside Sang Tan was merely the representative for the XuanTian Palace in their W’Batu City, yet his arrogance was already so high that his chin was almost touching the sky!
Zhou Weiqing and Shangguan Bing’er were currently in the crowd of participants. Hearing the dissatisfied voices around them, Zhou Weiqing spoke in voice-transference to Shangguan Bing’er. “It looks like although this XuanTian Palace is extremely powerful in the XuanTian Continent, they do not own the hearts of the populace!”
Shangguan Bing’er replied in a similar fashion. “This is natural. Since the XuanTian Palace is so powerful that they have a monopoly, their disciples and subordinates will definitely be extremely arrogant. How could they gain the hearts of the normal populace? However, since they are suppressed by power, these folk will only dare be angry but not speak out or take action. Even so… if the XuanTian Palace does not take care and continues on this path, the XuanTian Empire could possible fracture from within.”
After the proclamation, the original number of participants of more than a hundred had shrunk by more than half, with only slightly more than thirty remaining.
On the VIP platform, Sang Tan asked Er Chun, “Master, can we begin now?”
Er Chun did not even move his head, just grunting out an “En”.
Only then did Sang Tan stand up to proclaim, “Our annual XuanTian will officially begin now. Powerhouses of W'Batu City, please display your strongest prowess, and work hard to enter the finals and the chance to enter the Heavenly City! Alright, the first round shall begin, the Heavenly Energy test.”
On the contestant stage, workers had carried in five stone pillars, each about one metre tall. On top of each pillar was a transparent crystal. Clearly, this was for the purpose of testing the participants’ Heavenly Energy.
On the VIP platform, Master Er Chun slowly stood up. In a somewhat ‘show-off’ fashion, he strode into the air before landing on the stage. As soon as he appeared, the entire audience fell silent.
This arrogant elder put his hands behind his back as he instructed passively, “Those participants at the four-Jeweled stage and above, take turns to undergo the Heavenly Energy examination. Begin, five at a time. We will record the strength of your Heavenly Energy.”
Along with his entrance, a middle-aged man dressed in similar blue robes walked out from the side. If one examined both closely, the symbol embroidered on his chest was a silver star, and his status was clearly below that of Master Er Chun. He was holding a large book in his hands, which looked to be used for recording purposes.
Very quickly, the remaining thirty-odd participants began to ascend the stage in fives, led by assigned personnel.
Zhou Weiqing and Shangguan Bing’er were both positioned at the back. As they watched, the first batch of five ascended the stage. As soon as the middle-aged man gave the order, the five of them immediately circulated their Heavenly Energy.
Instantly, the five crystals on the pillars lit up, giving forth a faint white light. As more Heavenly Energy poured into them, the white light slowly rose. By now, they could all see the differences. The white light would rise to a higher level for those with higher cultivation levels.
This continued for almost five more minutes, at which point the columns of white light were no longer rising. The one-starred XuanTian Palace executive member who was recording the results waved his hands, indicating that their exam was over. Soon, the second batch of five ascended the stage, undergoing the same test.
Zhou Weiqing smiled as he spoke to Shangguan Bing’er in a low tone, “That is rather interesting, to go through a Heavenly Energy examination. However, if it’s just a normal test on Heavenly Energy, it is still insufficient to determine how powerful a Heavenly Jewel Master is. I guess that there will be other tests after this.”
Shangguan Bing’er nodded and was about to reply when all of a sudden, a disharmonious voice rang out from behind them. “Even if there are other tests, it will not have anything to do with people like you. You will never be selected.”
This voice was rather sharp and piercing, giving them a very uncomfortable feeling. Zhou Weiqing’s brow furrowed as he turned his head, only to see a youth of over twenty years of age, drooling as he stared at Shangguan Bing’er’s pert buttocks. When he saw Zhou Weiqing turn to look at him, he immediately raised his head in an extremely arrogant fashion.
A cold light flashed in Zhou Weiqing’s eyes before disappearing, but his face maintained its smile. “What do you mean by those words? We have not even gone through the examination; how would you know our cultivation isn’t sufficient to be selected?”Previous Chapter Next Chapter