Long Chen was startled. So there were further tests to attend the Jade Lake Pageant other than registering?
However, seeing the other disciples’ calm expressions, it seemed they had long since known about this.
“Each time the Jade Lake Pageant occurs, the rules are different. This is to prevent other people from cheating and preparing ahead of time. This time, the test isn’t very difficult. Within this flourishing field, simply collect one flower that you recognize. As long as you can say its name and origin, you’ll pass. However, I should warn you that you only have one chance per flower. Once one person picks a flower, no one else will be able to use that flower to pass,” announced the Skywood Divine Palace disciple.
Hearing that, everyone’s expressions changed. There were hundreds of thousands of experts present. Even if there were that many flowers present, who could possibly recognize that many?
“This is clearly nonsense! We cultivators care about martial power! When did recognizing flowers become a mark of heroism? If that was the case, what would be the point of martial arts?! We’d just spend all day reading!” roared a man with thick facial hair.
He was clearly a coarse man who probably didn’t recognize any flowers, which was why he was so angry. Quite a few people joined in.
“He’s right, this is unfair. Recognizing flowers? That’s too laughable. Why not ask us to sew or cook?”
Everyone here was a cultivator and was busy with cultivating. Who had time to go study flowers? This was clearly making things hard on them for no reason.
“The Jade Lake Pageant is not a competition of martial power. In all previous openings of it, the trials and barriers have all been like this. You’re not the only generation to run into bizarre and difficult tests. Complaining doesn’t have any use. If you have the time, you should instead search for a flower that you can recognize. I hereby announce that the trial begins.” That disciple paid no mind to the complaining and directly started the trial.
Countless experts immediately charged out, flying through the meadow. Some flew up the cliff looking for flowers that they recognize.
“I’ve found it! This is rainforest grass! It grows in the dark and will only come out of the earth when it’s raining! When the sun reappears, it will shrink back beneath the ground,” cried a female disciple, handing over a stalk of grass.
“Correct. Congratulations on passing.” The Skywood Divine Palace disciple nodded.
“What? Didn’t you say it had to be a flower? How can grass count?!” raged an expert.
That Skywood Divine Palace disciple calmly said, “The rainforest grass also blossoms. This simply isn’t the season for it to bloom yet.”
Long Chen wasn’t quite able to understand what the Skywood Divine Palace was doing with this trial. It seemed like they were treating the Jade Lake Pageant as a game.
Looking at this group of heavenly geniuses scattering like sheep in search of flowers was truly an odd sight.
“Cloud, I’ll help you find a flower others won’t recognize.” Long Chen began leading Cloud into the distance.
“I don’t need it. I’m one with big sister Meng Qi, hehe,” laughed Cloud.
Long Chen came to a sudden comprehension. Cloud was Meng Qi’s housepet and could be drawn into her spiritual space. The two of them could truly count as one.
“Then what is Meng Qi doing now? Why haven’t I seen any of them yet?” asked Long Chen.
“Sister Meng Qi, Chu Yao, and Wan-er are all waiting for you inside. You’ll see them in a bit. Sister Meng Qi said that the palace master only has a quota of three for letting disciples skip the first trial. I wanted to bring big sister Ruyan here to see you too, but she said she didn’t want to see you,” said Cloud happily.
Long Chen rolled his eyes. That Liu Ruyan really knew how to hold a grudge. Even now, she hadn’t forgotten about her disgrace of being captured.
Long Chen looked around and quickly saw a small flower poking out of the cliffside. He carefully dug it out of the earth. The entire plant was only the size of a fist.
It had seven leaves and sparkled like a jewel. It had a small flower with nine blood-red petals along with a dewdrop that was also blood-colored. It was filled with the flavor of poignant beauty.
“I didn’t expect to see this kind of flower here.” Long Chen couldn’t help being startled. He examined it carefully to confirm that it was really what he thought it was.
As an alchemist, he was naturally skilled in recognizing plants and flowers. That was why this trial could not be more simple to him.
He was in no rush. He looked at the others rushing around like a swarm of bees. Some were lucky and instantly passed.
However, some were unlucky. The common plants that they recognized had already been used by others to pass. They could only search for rare plants.
Some tried to muddle their way in, but they ran into a thick wall. The Skywood Divine Palace’s disciples were wood cultivators, and it wasn’t so easy for others to fool them about what a plant was.
After two hours, only a few thousand disciples had passed. Of course, this kind of trial couldn’t stop the likes of Di Xin, Shen Bijun, and Wang Shan. Even if they didn’t recognize any flowers, they had people courting favor with them who would search for them. They passed easily.
After passing, they didn’t immediately leave. Instead, they stood at the gate, calmly looking at the surrounding scenery. Of course, it was possible that they were appreciating the sight of others panicking.
“Fuck, what kind of idiot came up with such a trial?! They wanted a bunch of cultivators to recognize flowers?!” A disciple that had failed several times couldn’t help but roar furiously as he saw more and more flowers be recognized.
At the start, it was easy as there were many common flowers. However, after thousands of disciples had passed, thousands of flowers had become useless, and the remaining ones were unrecognizable. They were martial cultivators. Just being able to recognize a few trees was not bad for them.
That person had just started cursing when a wooden stake burst out of the ground and pierced him. The immense power instantly blew him apart. Everyone jumped in shock.
One of the Skywood Divine Palace’s disciples coldly shouted, “To dare to insult the palace master, he was clearly courting death. My Skywood Divine Palace is the protector of the Jade Lake Pageant. Each time it opens, the trial’s standards are decided in accordance with a calendar calculation. The palace master personally does the calculations and gives out the orders. If you are a cultivator, you should know that the Heavenly Daos have a cycle, and luck won’t always be on your side. Some things are fated to not be yours, and complaining doesn’t have any use. Insulting people only shows your own foolishness and lowliness. If you want to participate in the Jade Lake Pageant, then participate obediently. If you don’t want to participate, then leave. But anyone who dares to blaspheme my Skywood Divine Palace better not blame the Skywood Divine Palace for being pitiless.”
Clearly, the orders for this test had been passed down by the palace master. For someone to curse the sect leader in front of the sect leader’s disciple was truly courting death.
Although others had complained as well, they hadn’t used such intense words. So he ended up being the unlucky fellow warning others not to go too far and lose their lives.
Everyone’s hearts shook after that expert was slain. This place was the Skywood Divine Palace’s territory. They had to abide by the Skywood Divine Palace’s rules unless they didn’t want to participate in the Jade Lake Pageant.
After that expert was slain, the others were all warned. Although there were still complaints, they were much more limited in number and scale.
In truth, this trial was near its end. The flowers that they could possibly recognize had been recognized by others. Those rare and unused flowers were very difficult to recognize.
Only now did Long Chen walk over with Cloud. What startled Long Chen was that the Pill Fairy was walking forward at exactly the same time with a flower.
“You can go first.” Long Chen gestured.
“Thank you.” The Pill Fairy handed her flower over. “This flower is called the Prismatic Tree Peony. It is a ninth tier medicinal ingredient. The flower contains Ice Qi, making it a main ingredient in the High Ice Pill. However, the flower, leaves, root, and stem of the Prismatic Tree Peony are all of different colors, representing the changes of the four seasons. The four form a cycle, making it also called the Four Crest Prismatic Tree Peony.”
“As expected of Pill Valley’s top alchemist genius. You even know so much about such a neglected flower. Admirable,” praised the disciple in charge of the trial. She immediately passed the Pill Fairy, giving her a tablet.
The other disciples also admired the Pill Fairy. They weren’t stingy with their praise.
The Pill Fairy didn’t immediately walk through the gate. Instead, she went to the side and looked at Long Chen’s flower.
“Long San… I suppose I should call you Long Chen now.” As soon as the Pill Fairy opened her mouth, she realized she had called him by the wrong name. She couldn’t help feeling a bit sad.
“It’s fine. If you’re used to it, you can call me Long San. This name represents a special set of memories to me. Long Chen or Long San, their hearts are the same.”
“Thank you. Then I’ll just call you Long San, because I’m used to it. I’m very curious about that flower in your hand. I don’t have any memory of such a flower.” The Pill Fairy pointed to the flower in Long Chen’s hand.
Everyone was startled. Even the Pill Fairy didn’t recognize this flower, but Long Chen did?
“This flower is truly a bit neglected. Its name is the Jewel Blood Jade Orchid. It’s a legendary existence.” Long Chen carefully handed the flower to the Pill Fairy.
The Pill Fairy received it. Even the Skywood Divine Palace’s disciples were carefully examining it.
“Hmph, giving a random name to a flower no one recognizes really is a crafty way of passing,” sneered someone.
The Pill Fairy glanced at that person and shook her head. “You don't understand him. He has always disdained lying. Furthermore, with Long Chen’s alchemy arts, he has no need to go to the trouble of fooling others. Sometimes, those who know how to respect others appear more self-cultivated than people who randomly mock others.”
The Pill Fairy’s chiding immediately caused that expert’s face to turn red. He didn’t dare to say anything back to the Pill Fairy. Otherwise, he might be beaten to death by her worshippers.
Long Chen couldn’t help but feel a wave of emotion. Long San was still Long San. However, was the Pill Fairy still the old Pill Fairy? Fate truly had a way of playing with people.
Long Chen sighed. “Let me tell you a story about the Jewel Blood Jade Orchid.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter