“My dream is to become one - big - scoundrel.”
Hearing Long Chen’s words, Tang Wan-er couldn’t even believe her own ears. But then she immediately realized Long Chen was just acting wacky again.
She laughed, “Then congratulations, you’ve already achieved your dream! You are definitely already one hundred percent scoundrel.”
Her eyes sparkled and rippled as she laughed, her pretty smile lighting up her face like a flower in bloom.
Long Chen paused. Tang Wan-er truly was beautiful, not at all inferior to Chu Yao.
He shook his head, “It’s not as simple as you think. I want to become a remolded and completely upgraded scoundrel with dreams, accomplishments, integrity, and meaning. Although that goal is distant, I know that if I work hard and put in all my effort, I will definitely achieve it one day.” Long Chen looked up into the sky with yearning.
Tang Wan-er continuously shook as she tried to hold back her laughter. She rapped him, scolding, “Don’t tease me and make me laugh!”
There were far too many people here. Although the two of them were being quiet and low-key, there were still many people watching them. So Tang Wan-er could only hold back her laughter as best as she could. But then Long Chen kept teasing her with that completely serious face; probably no one could resist laughing.
“I’m not teasing you! I’m telling the truth. You just can’t understand. I guess you’re still too immature,” lamented Long Chen, acting as if he were lonely standing at the top.
“Tch, what are you acting so grand for? When were you born? I bet I’m bigger.”
Long Chen looked up and down Tang Wan-er’s body and said, “Well, that depends on what we’re comparing.”
Tang Wan-er immediately blushed, angrily glaring at him. “Scoundrel, are you asking for a beating? How can you say such crude things?”
Long Chen sighed happily inside. The monastery would definitely be much more fun than he had expected. With a beauty he could tease every day, the time would definitely pass much quicker.
The only thing that continued to constantly nag at him despite his attempts to push those thoughts away was Chu Yao. Had she passed the trial to join the Skywood Palace? Once the situation had stabilized here, he had to quickly go take a look. In his mind, Chu Yao was too naive and sincere. He was afraid she would be wronged in the Skywood Palace.
Just as Long Chen was lost in thought, a disturbance suddenly spread through the crowd. Long Chen raised his head to see that over ten Elders had walked to the front of the stone wall.
Those Elders were all wearing gray robes with old, stiff expressions. The bright light that roved within their eyes released a pressure so that others wouldn’t dare look directly at them.
Their auras were absolutely enormous. Although they hadn’t released their auras, just that reserved pressure gave them the feeling that they were volcanos. Once they erupted, they could destroy the land.
“It’s rumored that the Elders in the monastery are Bone Forging experts,” Tang Wan-er quietly whispered to Long Chen.
Long Chen nodded. No wonder they looked so powerful. The experts of a sect were completely different existences from the experts of the secular world. The two were incomparable.
Those seniors only indifferently swept their gaze over everyone without saying a word. In front of the stone wall was an immense set of stairs thirty meters high. They all jumped up, sitting down cross-legged on those stone steps and closing their eyes.
Long Chen was curiously wondering what they were doing when someone descended from the sky, landing on the top of the stone steps.
Long Chen immediately recognized that person. That was Elder Tu Fang who had given him his registration card.
When Elder Tu Fang arrived, those seniors all stood up and bowed to him. Tu Fang also returned a bow, and those people once more sat back down. During this entire process, not one person said a single word.
The entire crowd was completely silent. The atmosphere was so heavy that it was hard to breathe. Tu Fang’s arrival indicated that the final trial was about to begin.
“Those who haven’t collected the full tablet must retreat three hundred meters.”
Tu Fang’s voice was like a loud bell, his voice filled with dignity and majesty. It echoed against the stone wall.
Of the crowd that had gathered here, a huge portion immediately withdrew, leaving just over three thousand people.
Long Chen was astonished. Wasn’t this ‘only’ a seventy-five percent wash-out rate? How were there so few people left?
If one in four had managed to pass, then of the thirty thousand people at the beginning, at least seven thousand should have gathered the tablet.
But Long Chen immediately thought of the problem. If people lost or damaged their tiles, or perhaps ended up dying to Magical Beasts, then that meant a set had been destroyed.
And perhaps it was also like senior apprentice-brother Wan had said in the beginning: some people who knew they wouldn’t pass would just directly destroy their own tile. If they couldn’t pass, they would at least drag down three others. Of course, if four people with different tiles all had the same thought, all together that would just be one set.
Those reasons could explain why there were so few people. Of thirty thousand people, only three thousand remained. That elimination rate was absolutely shocking.
Tu Fang nodded as he looked over these remaining people.
“I will be in charge of this last trial. You can all see that there are over nine thousand caves behind me. That place is the location of your final trial.”
Tu Fang pointed to the stone wall behind him. Following his movements, those seniors slowly opened their eyes.
A stone pillar slowly rose in front of each of them. Those stone pillars were several feet thick and rose around three meters high. All kinds of strange looking lines covered them, giving them an incredibly ancient feeling.
When those stone pillars appeared, all the Elders extended a hand and placed it on their respective stone pillar, inserting boundless energy into it.
Those lines atop the stone pillars began to glow as the Elders inserted more energy, almost seeming to come to life.
BUZZZ!!! When those lines completely lit up, a booming sound came from the entire stone wall. The land trembled as terrifying pressure shot out, seeming to want to crush people into dust.
That was a kind of spiritual pressure that came from the deepest depths of a person’s soul. It would cause someone to involuntarily feel both reverence and terror. They couldn’t help but take a couple of steps back. That was just a kind of instinct.
But there were six people who didn’t retreat and were still standing in their original location like relaxed cypresses. They were Tang Wan-er, Ye Zhiqiu, Lei Qianshang, Qi Xin, Yue Zifeng, and also Long Chen.
Tu Fang looked at these six and nodded. This time there were six experts. If the other regions also had that many, the Xuantian Monastery’s rise to the top would be impossible to stop.
Crack, crack, crack…
Following the shaking of the stone wall, stone doors that originally had completely sealed their caves slowly began to rise. That sight was almost as if a fiend was opening its eyes, and a sinister air blew over, causing people to shiver.
The insides of the caves were pitch-black, so they were unable to see inside. It was only with the light of the stone pillars that people could see that atop each cave were a couple of talismans.
“These caves are your final test. There are three different trials: outer disciple, inner disciple, and core disciple.”
Tu Fang pointed to the thousands of caves behind him. “You can all see that these caves are not all the same size. The lower layer contains 5876 caves. Those are the outer disciple trials; if you pass, you will become an outer disciple of our monastery.”
Only then did Long Chen realize that the caves on the stone wall were split into three layers. The sizes of the caves were a bit different, but the difference wasn’t that great. If it wasn’t for Tu Fang’s indication, it was difficult to tell.
“The middle layer has 3096 caves for the inner disciple trial.
“And the upper layer has 187 caves for the core disciple trials. If you want to become a core disciple, you must pass through one of them.”
Everyone’s gazes were focused on those caves. They were filled with anticipation. Once they passed this, they would become true disciples of the Xuantian Monastery.
Within the trial region, there were many people who hadn’t managed to obtain anything good. So, they needed to join the Xuantian Monastery even more so that they could obtain something.
“But before this trial, I need to tell you guys a story. Listen carefully, because this will determine your future life and death.” Tu Fang solemnly looked over everyone.
Those two words, life and death, continued to echo throughout their heads, smashing their hearts like hammers.
Within their families, they were precious treasures. But here, they had become just weeds. They would never be the leading figures again.
Furthermore, many people had seen geniuses on the same level as them die in the trial region. Their courage had been broken, as that was the first time they had ever been so close to death.
Seeing everyone was appropriately pressured, Tu Fang nodded and continued. “You are all disciples from powerful families and have been doted on greatly. Your talents are extraordinary and your families have placed great hopes on you.
“But after this long of a trial, have you all realized that you are just a group of trash?”
His words were completely indifferent without the slightest emotion. There was not the slightest bit of ridicule. It was as if he was simply stating a fact. That infuriated many people as they felt they had been insulted.
“Will you be cowardly in the face of death? Will you be indecisive? Will you want to give up? If you think you will, then don’t refuse to accept that you are trash.
“Those Magical Beasts within the trial region were all placed there by the monastery. Most of them were second rank Magical Beasts. In normal circumstances, if you even used eighty percent of your strength, you would be able to easily kill them.
“But the actual results have greatly disappointed me. Within the trial were 1587 people who died just to weak second rank Magical Beasts. Tell me, are you guys trash or not?
“In front of a second rank Magical Beast, if you don’t have any experts as guards, you’ll all be terrified. Under the threat of death, you are unable to use even half of your strength. If you aren’t trash, then what are you?”
Tu Fang’s words caused the majority of people to lower their heads in shame. They truly were just as Tu Fang described. With the threat of death hanging over them, they would all be terrified and unable to use their full strength. Some of them, who had barely managed to escape from the grip of death, were still dealing with a lingering trauma.
“Don’t try to give me any excuses. Your families never tempered you enough and have pampered you too much. Experts are only able to become experts because they are willing to do anything to become stronger. As for weaklings, they don’t even have a chance to find an excuse. That is because they will all die.” Tu Fang icily continued as he saw there were still many people who were unconvinced.
Tang Wan-er stealthily glanced at Long Chen when she heard Tu Fang’s words. He was expressionlessly looking up into the sky. How come his words seemed so similar to Tu Fang’s?
“I’m telling you this as an alarm bell. Cultivation is a path of no retreat. If you are afraid of death, then just leave.
“That is because what you will be facing today is just some childish playthings. Your future enemies will be ten thousand times more terrifying than them.
“We’ve decided to give them a name: Corrupt Devils!”
 In Chinese, when you say ‘I’m older than you’, you can use the same word as ‘big’.