The spiritual qi was like a sea pouring over them. All their pores opened and greedily absorbed it.
Long Chen was shocked to find that the spiritual qi in the Xuantian Dao Sect wasn’t just dense; it also seemed to contain something he had never felt before. He was unable to describe it.
Seeing this huge gate open before them, the hundred thousand disciples were incomparably excited. They followed Mu Qingxuan inside. As for the disciples outside, they could only watch as those figures disappeared within the sect. Then the thick gate closed tightly.
Long Chen and the others followed Mu Qingxuan along a long path. The sides of the paths were lined with ancient trees thrumming with vitality.
Dozens of miles in, a plaza appeared. The plaza was huge, several times bigger than the entire branch sect of the Eastern Wasteland. It was also much grander.
At the center was a huge statue of a man. It was simple and majestic, seeming like a god overlooking the sky.
They were surprised that the sea of people they had expected to see inside never appeared. Instead, there was only a single, long-haired man in the plaza. He stood there like a javelin planted in the ground, patiently waiting for them to get closer.
His expression was icy, and faint runes were revolving in his eyes. Standing there, he gave off a dark feeling despite not having any of his aura leak.
“Greetings, senior apprentice-brother Su Mo.” Mu Qingxuan bowed slightly.
“It’s been hard on you junior apprentice-sister Qingxuan. Leave the rest to me.” The man called Su Mo returned the bow. His tone was refined and courteous, but also felt a bit icy. A faint killing intent pervaded the air around him.
“This is a true expert.” Long Chen’s pupils shrank. He sensed immense pressure from this person, a pressure that was even greater than what he felt from the Elders.
Although Long Chen couldn’t sense his aura, he was able to sense the Foundation Forging realm’s spiritual fluctuations. However, the reason why Long Chen felt that this man had to be incredibly powerful was because of the killing intent resting within the depths of his soul.
He had to be an expert who had slaughtered countless people. His killing intent permeated every single one of his cells. Even when he spoke calmly, his killing intent leaked out.
Mu Qingxuan said, “Then I’ll leave it up to you. I’ll take my leave.”
After saying that, she waved her hand and left them all blankly standing there.
Su Mo looked over them and shook his head. A fleeting emotion flashed in his eyes for too short of a time to see clearly, but Long Chen knew it was a kind of pity.
However, when Su Mo’s gaze swept over the Dragonblood Legion, his eyes brightened slightly. His gaze suddenly stopped on Long Chen, and his eyes were like sharp blades that could see through his heart.
Despite his electric gaze, Long Chen simply looked back at him without revealing the slightest emotion.
Su Mo’s icy mouth curled into a smile. He nodded slightly. “Not bad, there are at least a few decent ones.”
Everyone was startled, not understanding what he was saying. But the pressure they felt from him made it so they didn’t dare to ask.
“Let me introduce myself. I am Su Mo, a disciple from the previous generation. Ten years ago, I stood here just like you. Looking at you, I remember countless faces full of anticipation and hope. However, now that ten years have passed and I stand here once more, the majority of those people have been buried beneath the ground,” said Su Mo.
Ignoring their shocked expressions, he continued, “First, let me congratulate you. You’ve passed the initial trials and become a disciple of the Xuantian Dao Sect. Some of you relied on your talent to pass, and some relied on luck. But either way, those are still your strengths and there’s nothing wrong about either. However, this is just the first step. The trials you’ve passed are for the outer sect, so right now, you are outer sect disciples. My mission is to lead you to the next trial, the trial for the inner sect.”
“The inner sect trial!” All the disciples were excited, especially those disciples who were more talented. They almost couldn’t wait.
Looking at those excited expressions, the pity in Su Mo’s eyes increased. “Inner sect disciples are treated a hundred times better than outer sect disciples. But meat pies don’t fall from the sky. And even if they did, you’d need the power to receive them. Without that power, if you force it, the result is that you’ll be smashed apart by that meat pie.”
As expected, the trial for the inner sect was much more difficult. Although Wang Mang had refused to tell Long Chen anything on the journey here from the Eastern Wasteland because it was forbidden according to the rules, just from his tone, Long Chen had been able to guess a few things.
Su Mo continued, “To put it in an ugly way, outer sect disciples are just some high-grade workers. They help the sect handle many complicated things, but they’re much better than the ordinary workers. They not only get greater rewards, but they have a set amount of time reserved for cultivation and also have limited access to some cultivation regions. However, outer sect disciples are unable to completely focus on rapidly cultivating because they have to work to get their cultivation resources. Only inner sect disciples get free resources regardless of what they contribute to the sect. If those free resources aren’t enough, they can accomplish missions for more points and exchange those for resources. Certain cultivation regions are open to them all-year-round…”
“He’s probably about to get to the bad part.” Long Chen sighed inside. Now that the benefits had been described, it was time for the other side of things.
As if cooperating with him, Su Mo said, “However, let me say it again: if you want to eat the meat pie, you need the power to do so. You also need courage, as well as… luck. That’s because the inner sect trial is completely different from the outer sect trial. The outer sect trial was just a game for children with little danger, while the inner sect trial is… true battle.”
The two words ‘true battle’ struck like hammers in their hearts. When said in Su Mo’s dark and gloomy voice, it caused them all to feel a chill. When Su Mo said these two words, they were full of bloodiness.
“The inner sect trial takes place on a bloody battlefield. Life is like a fragile flower there that can wither in an instant. The sect had me explain this to you so that you know that this trial is very cruel, and very bloody. The chances of losing your life are extremely high. It’s a battlefield only true experts can survive, so carefully consider whether you want to attempt it. Although outer sect disciples have worse treatment, if your display is outstanding, you will still have a chance to enter the inner sect. But if you fail the inner sect trial, you won’t have any chance at all.”
His words resounded in their minds. The treatment that inner sect disciples received had filled them with anticipation, but now it was like a bucket of ice water had been poured over their heads.
“If you want to become an inner sect disciple, the first thing you’ll need to do is to be prepared to give up your life. If you can’t do that, then the chances of you surviving in the trial are less than one in a thousand. As your senior apprentice-brother, I’ve seen many of my companions fall. I’ve seen their powerless struggle in the face of death. Once you enter that battlefield, don’t vainly think that the people by your side will be able to save you. If people try to save you, they’ll be placing themselves in danger and cutting their own chances of surviving. So, I am very bluntly advising all of you not to try it without thinking it over. Consider it carefully,” warned Su Mo.
The air was tense, and it was like a stone was pressing against their hearts. They were deathly silent, and some people were almost unable to breathe.
They were facing the excitement of being an inner sect disciple, as well as the threat of death. They struggled over this decision.
Long Chen sighed. Su Mo was being kind. These greenhouse flowers would definitely die in droves once they entered a true battlefield.
That couldn’t be blamed on them. The only ones that could be blamed were their sects that didn’t understand that people couldn’t be pampered. Now their disciples had a difficult decision before them.
“I’ve said everything I have to say. As for what you choose, it’s up to you. If you want to participate in the inner sect trial, advance forward. If you don’t want to, retreat,” said Su Mo.
Following his words, the majority of people stepped forward. Only a few stepped back. Those people were the weakest, as well as the smartest. They felt content just being outer sect disciples.
The majority of those who retreated were rank three Celestials. Many of them were those who had bitterly struggled to the end on the Xuantian Staircase and only passed because of luck. Just that rudimentary trial had made them powerless, so they had no hope at all for the next one.
The absolute majority advanced, while a small portion retreated. There was also a small portion that were still hesitating. Their talent was not bad, and they were stronger than average.
They were unwilling to give up, but then thinking of how difficult the Xuantian Staircase had been to climb. The next trial would be even crueler and more difficult.
Su Mo didn’t rush them, just calmly waiting for their decision. What they were experiencing, he had also experienced. So he wasn’t the slightest bit impatient.
Finally, after an hour, everyone had made their decision. There were twenty thousand people who chose to give up, and eighty thousand that chose to continue to the inner sect trial.
Seeing this many people still wanted to participate in the inner sect trial, a helpless expression appeared in Su Mo’s eyes. But he didn’t say anything.
People quickly came to lead the disciples who had given up away. They should be setting up their residences and positions.
Once the outer sect disciples were led away, Su Mo said, “Since you’ve chosen to participate in the inner sect trial, then as your senior apprentice-brother, I can only wish you good luck. But before the trial, you have to meet a few people. Perhaps they can save your life on the battlefield.”
Countless runes on the floor tiles beneath their feet lit up. The space around them twisted, and they suddenly appeared in a dark and damp environment.Previous Chapter Next Chapter