Everyone found that they had been transported to a dark and damp environment. An aura of decay and death filled the air.
They jumped in shock. Before they could clearly examine their surroundings, they were deeply shaken by the group of people in front of them.
There was a sea of people staring coldly at them. A rough estimate put them at over three hundred thousand.
There were men and women amongst them, and they were all young. Although they were also Sea Expansion experts, they gave off heavy pressure just by standing there. They were like immovable mountains.
“True experts.” Even Long Chen’s heart shook. These people’s auras weren’t just condensed to the pinnacle, but their eyes were like blades. These people were completely different from the three outer regions’ disciples; they were real experts who had seen blood before.
Several people amongst them gave even Long Chen a sensation of heavy pressure. That made him understand something.
“Let me introduce you. The ones in front of you are disciples from the same generation as you. However, they are disciples from the Central Plains,” said Su Mo.
That shook the four regions’ disciples. Although they had long since prepared themselves, having their guess confirmed still shocked them.
That was because even though they were all at Sea Expansion, they could clearly sense immense pressure from these people, a pressure that made it hard for them to breathe. They definitely weren’t on the same level.
The Central Plains’ disciples looked at the bewildered disciples from the other four regions. Different emotions appeared in their eyes. Some were curious, some were disdainful, and some were icy. The four regions’ disciples didn’t know what to think.
Looking at those complicated expressions, Su Mo said, “I’m sure you feel a great deal of pressure, but you don’t need to feel inferior. It’s not your fault; it’s the fault of your sects. In order to achieve the highest results, your sects focused on the quantity of disciples, slightly neglecting quality. Thus, your power is a bit empty.
“This is also due to the Xuantian Dao Sect’s practices. The sect sends resources in accordance with how many disciples the branch sects can send to participate in the trial. So after making sure you were fat and plump, they sent you over. Because they were worried about losing out, they pampered you a hundred ways, not letting you participate in life and death battles. If you are shelved weapons that have rotted in storage, then these Central Plains disciples are weapons that have gone through countless temperings and begun to release their light.”
Hearing Su Mo’s cold and frank words, Long Chen couldn’t help but nod. Su Mo was worthy of being a true expert. His vision was sharp, and he dared to say whatever he wanted. In front of these disciples, he dared to criticize the Xuantian Dao Sect’s practices. That required a certain amount of courage.
Furthermore, his words were absolutely correct. Other than the Eastern Wasteland, the other four regions were too peaceful. They naturally wouldn’t need to risk their lives.
There was no way around it for the Eastern Wasteland. Many good sprouts fell during the battles between the Righteous and Corrupt paths. Even whole sects might be attacked, so there was no way to preserve the lives of their disciples.
The Eastern Wasteland’s disciples had no choice but to put their lives on the line, because if they didn’t, they wouldn’t have lives any longer. But the other three regions had it too good, and there was no reason for them to risk their lives.
Now that Su Mo said this, the three regions’ disciples couldn’t help but become a bit angry. They felt like their sects had limited their growth.
“But you shouldn’t complain. Complaining is forever the helpless display of the weak. The reason the strong become strong is because they are always searching for their own reason to get stronger. The reason the weak become weak is because they are always searching for excuses for their own laziness.
“Hard work is never late, and in the Xuantian Dao Sect, as long as you are talented and work your hardest, you will eventually be able to release your light. However, your previous laziness and peace have overdrafted your luck.
“Now that you’ve decided to participate in the inner sect trial, the heavens will be taking everything that you owe. I tried to advise you not to participate, but you all still chose to try it. I don’t know whether I should praise you for your courage or your foolishness. As your senior apprentice-brother, I’ll be ruthless and give you another blow: in your current state, it would be a miracle if even a third of you manage to survive the inner sect trial.” Su Mo shook his head.
Hearing this, all their expressions changed. Although they had felt the inner sect trial would be difficult, this terrifying mortality rate caused their hearts to sink. Of every three of them, only one would survive, and those that survived had to be both strong and lucky.
“It is too late for regret. I’ll direct you to a smart path right now: if you want to live, join one of the factions of the Central Plains’ disciples. When the Central Plains’ disciples arrive at the Xuantian Dao Sect, they don’t need to participate in the outer sect trial. They can directly participate in the inner sect trial. They were originally elites, and each one of them has experienced over ten life and death battles. You can’t compare to their battle experience. In terms of talent, you might be around the same, but when it comes to combat strength, they are ten times stronger than you. If you want to keep your lives, abandon your dignity and try to join them.”
The four regions’ disciples didn’t know what to say. Looking at those icy Central Plains disciples, it felt like they were wagging their tails pitifully. They were geniuses, not beggars!
Most importantly, even if someone did give up all their face, what if they refused you? Would you not feel ashamed to even keep on living?
Su Mo turned to the Central Plains disciples. “In the Xuantian Dao Sect, you have to establish your own factions, so this is the best way to expand. Gold will eventually release its light, but once it does, it will quickly be taken away by others. This is now a test of your ability to see who is gold. The four regions’ disciples have unsteady foundations, but their talent is still high. They’ve passed the Xuantian Staircase, so their will is also firm enough. They aren’t actually inferior to you; they’re just lacking an opportunity to rise. So whether you’re recruiting or joining, this is a good opportunity for you. Grab hold of it yourselves.”
“Senior apprentice-brother Su Mo, can we form our own faction? We have the power to protect others,” said Yan Mochen.
At the same time, Han Yunshan and Wei Changhai also stood with him. Quite a few disciples were following them.
Long Chen shook his head. Yan Mochen’s intent was clear: as a rank five Celestial, he definitely wouldn’t lower his head to anyone. He wanted to work together with Han Yunshan and Wei Changhai to form their own faction.
“Tch, with your little power, just protecting yourself would be difficult enough. How do you have the power to protect others?” A tall and skinny man from the Central Plains’ disciples suddenly walked out.
As soon as he did, the other four regions’ disciples were shocked. There were no fluctuations coming from him, but the space around him was constantly twisting. Heaven and earth seemed to ripple like he was standing in water. Some faint runes flickered around him, but that wasn’t intentional or conscious.
“The realm of being merged with heaven and earth?!”
Han Yunshan, Yan Mochen, and Wei Changhai were all shocked. Others might not know, but they knew that this was a level only possible when one’s Heavenly Dao runes were condensed to a pinnacle. A portion of their runes would merge with heaven and earth.
That was a realm only innate rank five Celestials had the qualifications to reach. And even though the three of them were also innate rank five Celestials, reaching the realm of merging their Heavenly Dao runes with heaven and earth wasn’t just a matter of talent. It also required comprehension.
“Correct. If a Celestial hasn’t even reached the realm of merging with heaven and earth, then they’re no more than an amateur Celestial. Only once you reach this realm can you control Heavenly Dao energy with just a thought. You’re still a far cry from this point,” said that man.
“But… Even if I haven’t reached that realm, it’s just a matter of time! Even if I don’t possess that ability, I’m still a rank five Celestial. I have the power to protect myself, as well as the power to protect others!” cried Yan Mochen.
“Is that so? Then let’s test that. I’ll be your opponent. See if you can protect yourself.”
After saying that, no one even saw him bend his knees or raise his feet before he moved like a phantom. There was no sign at all, and by the time people realized he had moved, he was standing right in front of Yan Mochen.
Yan Mochen was startled, and he let out a punch. His earth runes covered his fist, and still not feeling reassured, he summoned his Great Earthen Armor.
Shockingly, when Yan Mochen’s fist struck that thin man’s body, his body exploded in an instant.
“What speed.” Long Chen’s eyes narrowed. Perhaps others hadn’t seen, but the instant that man had been about to be struck by Yan Mochen’s fist, his feet had taken a strange step, and he had vanished.
To others, it looked like his body had been destroyed by Yan Mochen’s fist, but he was just too fast. What was struck was just an afterimage.
An icy sword pressed against Yan Mochen’s neck, its sharp edge easily going through Yan Mochen’s runic armor. Blood slowly seeped down the sword.
For a moment, everyone was deathly silent. An icy voice rang out behind Yan Mochen.
“Now tell me, how are you supposed to protect yourself, let alone others?”Previous Chapter Next Chapter