Chapter 141 – Rites of Righteousness
The Progenitor’s plot failing actually benefited Ye Wei more than it harmed him. ‘Oh well, your loss…’ The old demon appeared calm but was actually furious within because his plan completely backfired.
The last grain of sand stopped rolling, settling at the bottom half of the hourglass. Time seemed to have frozen as the Progenitor and Ye Wei’s consciousness communicated.
“The exam is over! Congratulations to you two! After the ceremony, you will officially be a part of our union.” Zuo Qiu Ming announced loud and clear as he scanned across the five candidates. His eyes lit up with appreciation when they fell onto Ye Wei.
“You will become a two-star Runemaster and a three-star Runemaster respectively according to the level of the stances you two have created!”
“May I add that I am especially proud to be the examiner today. It was my luck that I got to see the making of not one, but two young talents with my own eyes!” Zuo Qiu Ming decided it was appropriate to openly express his fondness as the exam had finished.
Ye Wei and Lu Feng did not just end the dry spell, they finished with style, breaking many records! Lu Feng being one of the quickest ever to finish the stance creation challenge, and Ye Wei being the youngest candidate to pass the exam in the whole of Qing state much less creating a high-level Spirit stance. Any Runemaster Union member, or official, could only dream of witnessing the birth of such a talent.
“Congratulations young ones; you two surprised me!”
“I am fortunate to have taken part in this exam, and I know your names will echo through the ages!” All three of the elderly cultivators who failed the test were content with their failure and paid respect to whom they were both jealous of and admired.
Rather than feeling remorse, they’d rather try to seek inspiration from these talented youngsters so they too could one day reach their goal of becoming a Runemaster; something they had tried to achieve for half their lives.
“Thank you for the kind gesture.” Ye Wei bowed and said humbly.
Lu Feng could see that every in the side hall were more impressed by Ye Wei than by him. This caused his face to turn ashen as he heard the flattering words directed towards Ye Wei. He was supposed to become the youngest Runemaster in Qing state, and in fact, he was still one of the ten youngest Runemasters in the region, but his flair was now completely drowned out because of Ye Wei’s existence.
Being the prideful youngster, he was Lu Feng was extremely unpleased that someone six years his junior, a mere teenager, was able to outshine him on something he took great pride in. Apart from that, his plan to recruit Ye Wei was not likely as Ye Wei would soon be under the spotlight as the newest and greatest rising talent. Having a three-star Runemaster with a moldable young mind on their side would be a dream come true for many powerful organizations.
All these negative thoughts came crashing into Lu Feng’s mind.
Zuo Qiu Ming looked down at the recommendation letters, and rose his head and smiled. “Today we have two new Runemasters who both came from Green Moon City! Congratulations to Lu Feng and Ye Wei!”
Zuo Qiu Ming read Ye Wei’s letter of recommendation again and frowned. He knew that Master Yi was a ten-star Runemaster who relocated to Green Moon City from the capital, but even so, it did not quite explain the level of rune mastery Ye Wei displayed.
“Ye Wei!?” Lu Feng’s eyes widened and a chill went down his spine.
Ye Wei realized immediately that Lu Feng now knew exactly who he was and their eyes crossed full of hostility.
‘I should have realized if anyone was be able to produce an apprentice of this caliber in this region, it would be Master Yi…’ The puzzle pieces came together in Lu Feng’s head. ‘My men told me that Master Yi’s apprentice had a red Sentient…. How can trash like that grow so strong so quickly!? It’s only been three years!’
Ye Wei knew the time would come when Lu Feng figure out who he was, therefore, he was able to keep his cool. Now because of his three-star Runemaster status, Ye Wei was no longer scared but confident.
‘Your move…’ Thought Ye Wei while staring at Lu Feng.
“Okay, now may I ask the candidates who failed the exam to leave the hall?” Zuo Qiu Ming said politely while he briefly looked at Lu Feng before his appreciative gaze was once again set on Ye Wei.
It became more and more apparent that even the supposedly neutral official was becoming fond of Ye Wei.
“You should both know how important the ritual is, correct?” Zuo Qiu Ming kindly looked at Ye Wei and said in a serious tone.
“Yeah!” Ye Wei nodded. Master Yi had explained to him in the past the importance of the ritual.
No matter how strong one’s will-force was, how high one’s rune consonance, or how sharp one’s soul sensitivity nobody was born a Runemaster.
Only through the ritual could one’s Sentient be imbued by the Combat Master. The holy presence of the Combat master affects one’s will-force and transforms a Runemasters’ will-force into a more effective tool to use against humanity’s enemies; the demons and wild beasts.
Due to their natural body strength demons and wild beasts were born stronger than human beings, and this allowed them to easily defeat humans on the same level as them, and sometimes even ones with higher cultivation. But this ritual allowed Runemasters to be excluded from this pattern. After the ritual Runemasters could easily beat demons and beast of the same cultivation and posed a threat to counterparts with higher cultivation all because of the holy presence in their Sentient.
After passing the Runemaster entrance exams, the candidates were to be guided through the ritual during which their will-force would actually be guided by the Combat Master and flow in the shape of the holy conservatory.
The conservatory was built by the Combat Master himself following runic principles. Those principles were translated to runic patterns which were essentially where the power of the holy presence came from, and this was precisely what demons and beasts were weak against.
The stronger a Runemasters became, the more their will-force follow the conservatory’s flow pattern, ultimately making their will-force many times more effective against demons and beasts. This is the reason why Runemasters were seen as assets of mankind.
“Remember, you need to stay pious and pure during the ritual having clouded mind is very dangerous!” Zuo Qiu Ming looked at Ye Wei and Lu Feng and said solemnly.
“Sacred statue!” Zuo Qiu Ming grunted as he summoned the Combat Master’s image again.
Knowing the importance of the ritual, Lu Feng shook his head to put the grudge out of his mind. He switched his attention from Ye Wei to the statue; his mind became clear and pure.
Ye Wei took a deep breath to relax and turned his face towards the statue.
“The Heavens are in plain sight, their righteousness boundless…” Zuo Qiu Ming began to recite the passages left by the Sages while Ye Wei and Lu Feng followed.
While the spoken words echoed the hall, the statue began to emit waves of rippling energy that rushed into Ye Wei and Lu Feng’s Sentients transforming their will-force.
“Bang! Bang! Bang!”
Their invisible will-force were drawn out by statue’s energy and began to take physical form. Their will-force took the shape of mysterious and magnificent structures accompanied by a series of awe-inspiring bell tolls.
The images of spectral buildings were clearer above Ye Wei’s head than they were above Lu Feng due to the difference between their runic capabilities.
‘Little one!’ When Ye Wei’s will-force completed the outline of all seventy-two buildings of the conservatory, a familiar, powerful presence visited his Sentient again and a deep voice sounded.
‘Your Grace!’ Ye Wei greeted as the middle-aged scholar’s figure became clear.
‘I knew you were special but I did not expect to meet again so soon! Now I am sure you will become someone important, therefore, I have a special gift for you…’ The Combat Master said with a smile while lifting his finger. Pressing it to Ye Wei’s forehead, a mark that resembled a golden lotus appeared between Ye Wei’s eyebrows.
‘Little one, keep cultivating and training hard!’ The Combat Master’s voice began to fade as if the source of the sound was moving further away from Ye Wei.
‘A gift?’ Ye Wei blinked quickly confused as the image in his Sentient disappeared without any more explanation about the mark. ‘I know the Combat Master won’t lie to me but I honestly don’t feel any different…’
Ye Wei could not feel the mark and its color faded, melting into his skin without a trace.
The Combat Master had ways to make anything host his consciousness, objects, man, beasts, and even demons. If it was not for the black scale, his consciousness would have never actively gone into Ye Wei’s Sentient; he would almost never pay any Runemasters a visit like he did with Ye Wei.
It was both by chance and destiny that Ye Wei bonded with the Combat Master, and it was Ye Wei’s fortune to have received two gifts from one of the founding Sages.
“Finished!” Zou Qiu Ming grunted as the energy around the statue disappeared. Both Ye Wei and Lu Feng had their will-force enchanted and they were now Runemasters!