Chapter 171 – Sect Entrance Test
The first item on the sect entrance test was the bone age.
At the front of the crowd stood a middle aged elder in dark green robes, and he silently sat behind the table with his eyes closed in meditation, whereas at his side were a few Inner Court disciples working busily.
A completely round and pitch black profound stone was placed on the table, and when the youth that participated in the test placed their hands on it, it would accurately test their bone age.
The disciples that the Wanderingcloud Sword Sect wanted to recruit this time required a true age that was below 20, and the bone age test was for the sake of preventing some cultivators from slipping through. After all, it was difficult to clearly distinguish a cultivators age just from outward appearance. For example, the Su Clan’s Grand Elder Su Lingfeng looked like an immature young child due to the cultivation technique he cultivated, and only bone age wouldn’t be deceived.
“Mo Zhai, 19, qualified!”
“Feng Weihui, 13, qualified!”
“Yue Zhan, 26, disqualified!”
Amongst the announcing voices of those Inner Court disciples, the people with qualified bone ages cried out loudly in excitement, whereas those that encountered the tragic fate of disqualification were dejected. There were even some people that burst into loud sobs and attempted to commit suicide. At this moment, the different kinds of attitudes and emotions of people were vividly portrayed.
Chen Xi sighed unendingly as he watched. Fortunately, Mu Yao and Mu Wenfei were just 20 and 17 respectively, and they were able to pass the test extremely smoothly. This caused the brother and sister pair to heave a sigh of relief, as they’d successfully obtained two wooden tokens.
These two command tokens had their age, name, and other information inscribed on it, and only by obtaining this command token would one be able to participate in the second item, the constitution test.
Chen Xi brought the two of them to the constitution test right away.
The quality of the constitution was related to the speed of cultivation. The better the constitution, the easier it was to advance in cultivation. Conversely, the worse the constitution, the more incomplete meridians would cause one’s attainments to not be great even if one cultivated, and it was even to the extent that one would find it difficult to take a step forward and forever have no fate with the path to immortality.
Mu Yao and Mu Wenfei were already at the Violet Palace Realm now, and even though their constitutions weren’t the absolute best, it was at the top, allowing them to easily pass through the test. During this process, Chen Xi had always been watching from the side, and he obviously noticed that just the test of constitution had eliminated a few thousand people. It could be seen from this that not everyone could cultivate to immortality and seek the Dao.
When it was almost noon, Chen Xi brought Mu Yao and Mu Wenfei to the place that tested their will.
This was a circular field that occupied an area of 3km, and 64 apricot yellow flags set up an Illusory Devilrock Grand Formation according to a profound placement.
The disciples that participated in the test were required to sit cross-legged within the grand formation. When the grand formation was activated, their entire bodies would suffer boundless pressure, as if they were carrying something extremely heavy on their back, and it was extremely hard. Moreover, various types of illusions would appear within their minds, like a sea of blood and a mountain of corpses, roiling devilish qi, and raging vengeful spirits, causing their bodies and mental state to suffer an extremely harsh test.
The longer one was able to persist within the grand formation, the firmer one’s will was, and a firm will meant that one’s heart towards the Dao would be firmer. It represented that one would be able to never lose heart before repeated failures, hack a way forward through all difficulties, overcome the various types of greed, and sweep through all obstacles on the road to seeking immortality and not go to the extent of going astray.
In this world, there were too many people with extraordinary natural endowments that were reduced to mediocrity or became crippled because of their will’s lack of firmness. Whereas those ordinary people with normal natural endowments were instead able to rely on extraordinary determination and will to step into the ranks of experts and laughed proudly at the entire world.
As a sword cultivating sect, the Wanderingcloud Sword Sect concentrated on the Dao of the Sword, and their requirements towards one’s will was extremely harsh. So the test of will was a test of extreme importance amongst all the tests, and in the previous sect entrance tests, an overwhelming majority of the young geniuses were eliminated by this test of will.
The requirement to pass this test was exceedingly simple, one just had to sit cross-legged in the Illusory Devilrock Grand Formation and persist for the time for an incense stick to burn. Of course, the longer one persisted, it represented that one’s will was firmer, and when the person entered the Wanderingcloud Sword Sect in the future, the treatment received by the person would be extremely good as well.
In next to no time, Mu Yao, Mu Wenfei, and another 998 people gathered into the number of 1,000, and they were arranged to enter the formation.
When everyone had sat cross-legged properly within the grand formation, a white robed elder outside the formation formed profound seals and activated the grand formation.
Instantly, enormous rock silhouettes appeared above the heads of every single person, and at practically the exact same instant, a vast and exceedingly heavy pressure fiercely smashed down!
It was as if a small hill had pressed onto their shoulders.
“AH!” The rock silhouettes had only just appeared when a young man seemed to have not expected he would suffer such a terrifying pressure, and he was caught off guard, causing his entire body to be pressed flat on the ground as he emitted a wave of miserable shrill cries.
In practically the time for a few breaths, there were a few tens of young men and young women that were unable to persist and gave up, and there were even some people that weren’t able to give up in time, causing them to faint on the spot and be transported out by the grand formation.
Far away from the grand formation were another 1,000 people that would participate in the test of will in the next batch. When they saw this scene, their countenance went pale, and their hearts were terrified, to the point it floated up to their throat. Of course, there were many people that revealed an excited gaze, and they were burning with eagerness.
In the surroundings, there was even a dense crowd, and most of them were the seniors and guards of these young men and young women that had come to witness this scene, yet all of their expressions had become grim and were extremely anxious.
Chen Xi was within the crowd, and his eyes stared concentratedly without blinking at Mu Yao and Mu Wenfei.
In next to no time, over 700 people had been eliminated from the 1,000 people, and Mu Yao and Mu Wenfei were fortunately still persisting.
Meanwhile, only half the time for an incense stick to burn had passed.
At this moment, most of the young men and young women within the formation had their eyes shut tightly as sweat rolled down like small streams to drench their clothes.
Their expressions were either enraged, resentful, or completely indifferent… This was caused by their mental state being affected by the various terrifying scenes that the grand formation formed into illusions.
This test of will was indeed difficult to the extreme, their bodies and state of mind suffered pressure during the test, and if they didn’t possess extremely great determination and will, it would be utterly impossible to persist for the time for an incense stick to burn.
Mu Yao and Mu Wenfei’s displays weren’t bad, although their expressions looked to be in a sorry state, but there was no sign of collapse. Only Mu Yao had bit open her lips, and strands of blood crept down along the corner of her mouth, causing her to seem slightly forlorn.
After the time for an incense stick to burn.
Only a mere 13 people remained in the entire Illusory Devilrock Grand Formation!
When they saw this scene, the surrounding atmosphere became even more oppressive. Out of a thousand people, 987 people were actually eliminated. Wasn’t such a passing ratio too small?
Not bad, this brother and sister do indeed possess outstanding natural talent. Chen Xi looked at Mu Yao and Mu Wenfei in the grand formation and couldn’t help but recall his younger brother, Chen Hao. A few years ago, Chen Hao had experienced a test like this before being able to join the Wanderingcloud Sword Sect, right?
Right when Chen Xi’s thoughts were soaring to the limit, the grand formation had already been deactivated, and Mu Yao, Mu Wenfei, and the other 11 people came out in succession. All of them had extremely exhausted expressions, yet their eyes flickered with happiness and proudness.
Exactly, being able to become eminent from a thousand people, such a result was indeed worthy of being proud.
The thirteen of them arrived before the table and awaited the white robed elder to distribute the command tokens.
Right at this moment, a handsome young man walked over from the distance, and an Inner Court disciples behind the table raised his head to sweep his gaze over before frowning. “Liu Chen, you were eliminated when the grand formation had just been activated, why are you…”
This Inner Court disciple hadn’t finished speaking when the white robed elder that had always had his eyes closed in meditation had abruptly opened his eyes, and then he waved his hand to interrupt the disciples as his lips moved slightly, yet what he said was unknown.
The Inner Court disciples instantly understood tacitly, and he didn’t say another word before swiftly passing over a wooden command token. One was able to participate in the next test by possessing this wooden command token.
Liu Chen laughed arrogantly and cupped his hands towards the middle aged elder before leaving proudly.
When they saw this scene, the youths that were lined up behind to participate in the test instantly went into an uproar. Some were envious, some felt it was unfair, and there were even some that loudly shouted the words ‘unfair’ and ‘cheating.’
“Hmph!” The white robed elder coldly snorted before slowly closing his eyes.
“Do all of you want to participate in the test or not!? All of you actually dare disturb Elder Hua Hong’s rest? All of you really don’t know any manners! If you don’t want to participate in the test, then leave now!” An Inner Court disciples raised his eyes to sweep the surroundings before berating loudly.
Instantly, not a single person dared voice out questioningly, and the scene went completely silent. No one wanted to make it difficult for themselves, and not to mention there were many people amongst them that had already used their relations to bribe their way through long ago. When they saw this scene, all of them laughed with understanding, and they were even more assured in being able to pass the test.
Chen Xi frowned. He recognized this middle aged elder. He was called Hua Hong and was an elder in the Inner Court that was in charge of logistics and odd work. But due to having not come into contact with this elder before, Chen Xi’s impression towards this person was only limited to seeing the elder once.
But at this moment, when he saw Hua Hong so brazenly helping that Liu Chen to safely pass through the most difficult test of will, a strand of disgust instantly arose within his heart.
Right at this moment, a young man walked out from amongst the 13 people that had passed the test of will, his skin was dark, his appearance plain and ordinary, and he wore old and tattered beast skin. There was also the smell of sweat on him, causing him to seem like an ordinary son of a hunter, and when compared with the young men and young women in the surroundings that wore embroidered clothes and jade robes, he seemed as if he lived in a different world to them. One was in the heaven, the other on the earth.
He was obviously accustomed to the gazes that shot at him from the surroundings, causing him to be slightly bewildered and awkward, and his dark face had even flushed completely red.
“What the fuck! A bumpkin like this can pass through the test of will as well?”
“Dammit! So stinky! How many days has this fellow not bathed?”
“Hmph! So what if he passed the test of will? Look at his stupid appearance, he’ll surely be unable to pass the test of comprehension. Want to join the Wanderingcloud Sword Sect? At least look yourself in the mirror.”
When they saw the dark young man’s uncomfortable and uneasy appearance, the surroundings instantly sounded out with a wave of ridicule.
What amazed Chen Xi was that after the dark young man heard the ridicule, he instead became composed, he even carried a strand of firmness and ruthlessness between his dense and dark brows, and he was extremely stubborn and unyielding.
In the crowd, there was also a pair of middle aged husband and wife that was similarly tattered beast skin. Their appearances were extremely simple and honest, and their skin had been tanned to the point of becoming extremely dark. Obviously, they carried out heavy physical labor all year long.
That young man in beast skin was precisely their son, Zhu Xun.
Their entire family had hunted in the mountains for generations, and they passed their days as poor as if everything has been washed clean. This time, they’d come to the Wanderingcloud Sword Sect because they hoped their son Zhu Xun would be able to pass the test and join the sect, so that he didn’t have to suffer the hardships of poverty like them in the future.
At this moment, when they saw their son being humiliated, this pair of husband and wife closed their lips tightly, and their eyes revealed a pained expression, yet their eyes stared fixedly at their son, seeming to want to give him some encouragement through their gazes.
“You’re called Zhu Xun? In the test of will this time…” The Inner Court disciple hadn’t finished speaking when he was once again interrupted by Elder Hua Hong. Elder Hua Hong raised his eyes, glanced at Zhu Xun before shaking his head, and although he didn’t say anything, his attitude was already extremely obvious.
This Inner Court disciple was instantly stunned, and he lowered his head to announce this outcome after quite a long time.
“What?! Why is it like this?”
“Hmph! It’s no big deal. Under the gazes of everyone present, only 13 people had passed the test, and this outcome will surely be known by the higher-ups of the Wanderingcloud Sword Sect. Since that Liu Chen has passed the test by relying on his relationships, there naturally has to be someone that’s eliminated.”
“Alas, so this stupid kid has been replaced by another!”
“Could it be that Elder Hua Hong isn’t afraid of being exposed by another?”
“Cheh, are you naïve? This is something that’s understood tacitly. Amongst those great figures in the Wanderingcloud Sword Sect, who doesn’t have relatives and friends? They’re giving their own family members a way out, and who would be so bored to go pay attention to it? Perhaps that Liu Chen is the illegitimate child of Ling Kongzi. Of course, this is only a joke. Not to mention, the people that are eliminated have neither authority nor background, and it doesn’t matter if they’re offended. Could it be that they would still think of taking revenge on the Wanderingcloud Sword Sect? Is that any different to courting death?”
The surrounding crowd instantly resounded with a buzz of discussion, and the gazes they shot at Zhu Xun contained pity, ridicule, contempt, and pleasure at his misfortune.
Chen Xi frowned instead, and when he recalled Dong Fang, Wang Wan, and their younger brother and younger sister, he thought to himself. If it wasn’t encountered by me, that Dong Xuanhong and Wang Yunshi would probably have been able to smoothly pass through all tests as well, right?
Disciples of a wealthy clan have relationships and money, they’re able to bribe their way through. But what about disciples of impoverished families? They trudged an extremely long way with great difficulty and experienced all kinds of hardships to arrive here. If they suffered unfair treatment, then who would feel pity for them, who would help them?