Chapter 396: Top Sixteen, Selection of the Geniuses
Chu Xinghan had suddenly disappeared without a trace, with no clues of his whereabouts left behind.
Master Shuiyue furrowed her brow. “None of you saw what happened?”
Everyone had been watching Lian Canghai’s match just now. No one had bothered to pay attention to Chu Xinghan, whose condition was unknown. Therefore, no one responded when Master Shuiyue asked her question.
Long Juxue’s glowering expression swept around but she too came up empty handed. She smiled faintly, “The honored master need not grow enraged. That person cravenly clings to life instead of bravely facing death and surreptitiously slipped away. Even if he’s not dead, he’d be crippled after my blow. My freezing azure phoenix qi froze all of his blood vessels. Even if he was able to temporarily hold on, he won’t be able to survive for long.”
Long Juxue was very confident in her strength and wasn’t worried about anything at all.
Taking a step back, even if Chu Xinghan survived on a fluke, she still wouldn’t be afraid of anything.
She was a vaunted cultivator with an innate constitution, the number one genius of the sect. The Purple Sun Sect had focused all of its attention and fortunes on her, what need was there to worry about a discarded disciple?
Many had actually seen what had happened in the Shuiyue faction, including numerous sect heavyweights present whose ranks were senior even to Master Shuiyue.
However, all of them chose to overlook what was happening.
This was because this matter involved Long Juxue. The sect’s attentions and hopes were all focused on her now, so even these old fellows didn’t dare take Long Juxue to task.
Otherwise, the sect would have incomparable losses if the genius grew irate.
Forefather Sunchaser witnessed all of this and only smiled faintly. This matter didn’t cause a single ripple of emotion in his heart.
In reality, he’d seen too many such happenings. He even admired Long Juxue’s actions. Domineering and high-handed, this was the true way of the Purple Sun Sect!
Chu Xinghan’s matter was as if a pebble had been lobbed into the water’s surface. All was as calm as though nothing had happened after a few small ripples.
No one would pay much heed to this kind of issue.
After all, Chu Xinghan was just a small disciple under Master Shuiyue. He had no impressive background or stunning potential, and even less so of fortune that the sect could not do without.
Having him or missing him, it didn’t make much of a difference.
Apart from a sympathetic Ceng Shi, no one in the sect actually spared a single moment’s thought for Chu Xinghan.
Ceng Shi himself was weighed down by the matters of the heart not because his relations with Chu Xinghan were that good, but purely because he felt sorrow for his own kind.
In Chu Xinghan’s plight today, he saw his own downfall tomorrow.
If he’d merely had a distaste for Long Juxue before, then he truly hated Long Juxue’s tyrannical demeanor at this moment.
She had dealt a killing blow even when Chu Xinghan had no conflicts of interest with her. With the verbal sparring that he, the once senior brother, had engaged with her previously, would this vengeful woman easily let him off the hook once she took his place?
Ceng Shi was pessimistic.
Although he’d made it into the top sixteen with his previous match, he wasn’t the slightest bit happy at the moment.
On the final day of the second round, the four great geniuses of the sky quadrant once again took their spot in the spotlight. They took their victories without the slightest trace of trouble.
As such, the list of the final sixteen was finalized.
Of them, five were from the Purple Sun Sect, three from the Precious Tree Sect, three from the Flowing Wind Sect, four from the Myriad Spirit Sect, and one from the secular world.
This list was pretty much what had been estimated before the selection.
However, the presence of Jiang Chen was a bit jarring. He appeared quite out of the ordinary when standing amongst the sixteen.
The Myriad Spirit Sect had originally thought that they’d hold three out of the final sixteen; they hadn’t factored in the abnormality of Liu Wencai.
The Precious Tree Sect’s solid four spots had been decreased because of the unexpected defeat of Iron Dazhi by Liu Wencai.
Now, in this stage of the selection, the four forefathers would determine the outcome.
According to the rules of the selection, those in the top 16 who originally belonged to a sect would basically still remain in that sect.
The exception being Jiang Chen, the secular genius.
But of course, they still had to respect the cultivator’s own wishes.
After all, this had to do with someone’s future development. If some sect disciple didn’t wish to stay in their own sect, then their original sect couldn’t force them to stay and would have to let them go.
Such were the rules, but everyone was well aware that they had gone through great pains to stabilize their own geniuses’ morale before setting out on the selection. There would basically be no situation of a genius betraying their own sect and going to another.
What was to commence next would be the selection of the geniuses from the lowest ranked ones to the highest.
Liu Wencai’s ranking was the lowest of the remaining sixteen. He’d made it into the final sixteen with a ranking of 22, a truly remarkable feat.
One had to know that Iron Dazhi had been candidate number 11, someone solidly destined for the top sixteen but defeated by the dark horse, Liu Wencai.
“Remember, regardless of what sect and background you come from, all of you have a chance to choose. Although theoretically we promote returning to your own sect, there are always exceptions. This is a life-changing decision for your future development. Therefore, I hope that all of you exercise prudence before your choice.”
Sunchaser’s gaze swept across each of the sixteen candidates.
The other forefathers didn’t wish to be outdone and they too surveyed the sixteen geniuses.
It was obvious that they didn’t want Sunchaser’s words to enchant their own sect disciples. Although the old monsters had given their disciples repeated orders and injunctions before leaving the sects, warning them again and again to not leave the sect, and even made many promises and analyzed the pros and cons, there was always a trace of the unknown.
“Alright, the selection will now begin. Each candidate will receive some promises from us four old monsters, with the final decision choice in your hands.”
Liu Wencai was the first to step out since his ranking was the lowest.
He’d won immense popularity after his match. Even someone as strong as Iron Dazhi had been defeated. Therefore, he’d long since become a first rate genius in the eyes of the forefathers.
Each forefather had three minutes to list their promises and conditions, and the sect that the candidate belonged to had first priority.
Therefore, forefather Ninelion was the first to step out and make his case.
“Liu Wencai, I’m ashamed to say that I had never heard of your name before today. This is my negligence. However, your potential has proven that you are naturally suited for the Myriad Spirit Sect. The sect is a platform for your rise. I only have one sentence, in that you will receive the same treatment as Luo Xi if you remain. I would dearly like to see the day in which you shine with glory in the sect.”
Ninelion was a straightforward person. He saw in Liu Wencai an immense potential and explosive power. It was something that even Luo Xi may not possess.
Therefore, Ninelion adored Liu Wencai so much he couldn’t bear to part with him. He too was worried that Liu Wencai hadn’t been valued in the sect before—would he be resentful and turn towards another sect?
It was a pity that three minutes were too short. As warmly inclined as forefather Ninelion was, it was too small of a time to tug upon Liu Wencai’s heartstrings.
The other three forefathers all gave their promises and conditions afterwards.
It was obvious that they had noticed that Liu Wencai hadn’t been very treasured in the sect before. Thus, they offered quite the generous conditions.
Particularly old monster Sunchaser—he started boasting about how the Purple Sun Sect’s martial dao legacy was unparalleled amongst the four great sects.
Although his words were cliche, one had to admit that they were compelling.
The four forefathers all looked ardently at Liu Wencai after saying their piece, waiting for him to make his final decision.
Liu Wencai smiled noncommittally, “I choose the Myriad Spirit Sect.”
He’d actually never thought of leaving the Myriad Spirit Sect. He knew that his talents were most suited for this sect.
He’d also asked Jiang Chen privately for his opinions before, and Jiang Chen had told him that remaining still would be preferable to moving. He would be an outsider in another sect. Even if the forefather valued him highly, he’d still be ostracized by the others.
Ninelion’s heartstrings relaxed when he heard these words. “Good, good! You’re a disciple of my Myriad Spirit Sect alright!”
The other forefathers all felt that this was quite a pity, particularly Sunchaser. He chuckled oddly as he looked meaningfully at Liu Wencai.
Liu Wencai’s choice had obviously somewhat enraged forefather Sunchaser. He’d thought that with his eloquence and conditions, it would be enough to convince Liu Wencai to defect to the Purple Sun Sect.
He could’ve made use of this to slap Ninelion’s face as well.
But now, his nicely laid-out plan had failed.
The next one up was Luo Huang of the Purple Sun Sect. His decision was very straightforward—the Purple Sun Sect. No surprises about this at all.
Luo Huang’s “Heaven Scorching Sutra” was something that marked him as the Purple Sun Sect, through and though. It would be career suicide to go to another sect.
A Flowing Wind Sect disciple was next, and they too remained in their original sect. The brand of the Flowing Wind Sect was equally as deep, and any who left would find the adjustment hard in another sect.
The fourth was Myriad Spirit Sect disciple Yuan Qinglu. He too decided to stay.
The following three came from the Purple Sun, Myriad Spirit, and Flowing Wind Sects. There were no surprises as they all chose to remain put.
Tang Hong of the Precious Tree Sect was the eighth candidate.
Sunchaser once again started scheming when he saw Tang Hong. He knew this kid was the thorn in the side of many, and was renowned for being a loner in his sect.
Therefore, he felt that this was a great opportunity to steal someone’s talent.
Of course, forefather Thousandleaf was the first to speak. He had no interest in stealing other sects’ disciples, but placed a great importance on his own.
Therefore, he made many promises that he would offer devoted tutelage to Tang Hong as his personal disciples, and the resources of the sect would tilt towards him, with the same privileges as Lian Canghai and Xie Wufan.
Forefather Icemist didn’t seem that interested in Tang Hong, so she only spoke a few words.
Forefather Ninelion saw in Tang Hong a kind of wildness, and so he too spent a great deal of effort hoping to recruit him. However, with his understanding of Tang Hong, he felt that the odds were low.
When it was forefather Sunchaser’s turn, he felt that this was a once in a blue moon opportunity to headhunt a disciple. He looked at Tang Hong with a confident smile.
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