Chapter 9 – Receiving the Envoy
“Regardless of what the Bai Clan’s Head did, since he had them deliver the young master here, I reckon that they intend to stake everything on this one throw. From what I know, the Bai Clan’s strength has declined quite a bit since their peak, and taking out this amount of resources is a major strain for them. I guess they have no other choice, since in the entire Bai Clan, only Bai Yan Er became a Spirit Apostle. In fact, there aren’t that many Bai Clan members that survive the various Opening Spirit Ceremonies either. This Bai Chong Tian should be carrying the hopes of the Bai Clan.” The Elder faintly said.
“The reason as to why the Bai Clan chose the Barbarian Ghost Sect, which is ranked the lowest among the largest sects in Da Xuan, is because of how little the sect requires for other people to join in their Opening Spirit Ceremony. If not for Aunt Yun being in the Barbarian Ghost Sect, I would never have come to this sect. I do not like how the Barbarian Ghost Sect deals in demons and ghosts.” Mu Ming Zhu pouted her lips.
“Hmph, how many times have I told you? The Opening Spirit Ceremony is extremely dangerous and even though you have displayed decent talent in training, it is not set in stone until you pass the Opening Spirit Ceremony. Your Aunt Yun should have a position in the Opening Spirit Ceremony, though she cannot help you much, she can still save your life should you fail. Or else, our Mu Clan would have sent you to a better sect than this as we do not lack the resources.” The green-robed elder responded with a solemn face.
“Yes, Zhu Er understands she is wrong.” Seeing that the elder was becoming angry, the purple-dressed young girl immediately dropped her face, not daring to say another word.
“Even though the Bai Clan and us of the Mu Clan have had a little uneasiness because of your aunt, our two clans are still much closer compared to other clans. We have always exchanged gifts at events and never skipped out on any of them. In addition, for Bai Chong Tian to be able to come to this Opening Spirit Ceremony, his talent is probably quite good. Try to get close to him before the ceremony and if he really does pass the Opening Spirit Ceremony, the Bai Clan and the Mu Clan could go back to the old days. Although your aunt’s matter is a little saddening, we still have to think of the big picture.” The green-robed elder slowly spoke.
Even though Mu Ming Zhu did not want to do anything like that, she could only nod her head like a chicken pecking for rice.
This “Third Uncle” was a top tier Practitioner and was only second to the Clan Head in the Mu Clan. Unless she became a Spirit Apostle, she would have to listen to him.
However, Ming Zhu was instinctively annoyed by “Bai Chong Tian” because of this Uncle’s speech.
Liu Ming, who was still resting and training his Yuan Li, didn’t realize what had just happened.
Even if he had the talent to do two things at once, his time for training was a little low. Thus, if he wanted to become better, it was not going to be easy at all.
Like this, with the two sides not bothering each other, they stayed at the top of the mountain for an entire day.
On the second day, two more people came up from the path the Mu Clan group first appeared from.
This time it was an old man and a young man.
The old man had a gray robe with creases all over his face and in his hand was a smoke stick.
The young man looked to be about as old as Liu Ming and wore a brand new blue robe. His skin was slightly dark and he looked extremely honest.
When the young man saw that there were already people on the mountain peak, he paused for a second.
The gray robed old man wasn’t surprised at all by this situation, and after calling out to the young man, he found them a place to sit.
“Are they also from a practitioner clan?” Seeing this, Liu Ming couldn’t help but ask his companions.
“It does not look like they are. They are probably Loose Practitioners.” After appraising the two, Guan Lao Da concluded.
“Huh? Wasn’t the Opening Spirit Ceremony only applicable to members in Practitioner Clans?” Liu Ming asked, surprised.
“It is not specifically open just to members of Practitioner Clans but normally, only Practitioner Clans can afford to have their children sent to these expensive ceremonies. However, if Loose Practitioners are able to pay just as much, the sects have no reason to decline their resources. Although these occurrences are very rare, when they do occur, the sects will pay quite a bit of attention to these Loose Practitioners. It is said that the chances of these practitioners passing the Opening Spirit Ceremony is even higher than the chance of Practitioners that were trained by the sect.” Guan Lao Da said quite seriously.
“Oh, why is that?” Liu Ming was still quite confused.
“Hehe, if buying a spot is quite straining for Practitioner Clan. For Loose Practitioners, this spot is equal to the work of a couple or even tens of generations. If the kid is not extremely talented and has a thirty to forty percent chance of passing the ceremony, they would not take the gamble.” This time, it was Gu Lao San who answered.
“So, he has at least a one-third chance of becoming a Spirit Apostle.” After hearing that, Liu Ming was quite surprised. However, when he tilted his head to look at the tall young man, he could find no peculiarities.
“Even though there usually are Loose Practitioners that come to these Opening Spirit Ceremonies, their numbers are definitely low. Since young master is going to be in the same sect as this young man, it would be a good idea to familiarize yourself with him. There will definitely be benefits if you do that.” Guan Lao Da hesitated before he added the final part.
“I know what to do.” Liu Ming stared at the tall young man deeply once more before closing his eyes again.
On the other side, the Mu Clan’s Third Uncle had also realized the status of the newcomers and also explained the situation to the purple-dressed maiden. However, they did not go up to give a greeting.
Under this awkward atmosphere, the three groups of people patiently waited.
After another day and night passed and when the rays just peaked over the clouds, a buzzing noise sounded. At first, it was as soft as a whisper but soon it became thundering.
The three groups, which were still resting, immediately stood up and looked in the direction where the noise was coming from.
In the sky, a black cloud quickly flew toward the mountain.
“It is the envoy. After this, us two can no longer be together with you but I have told you everything about the Bai Clan and common knowledge among Practitioners. Do not make any mistakes! As long as you join the envoy, you will be fine.” Guan Lao Da quickly reminded Liu Ming.
Even though Guan Lao Da did not show it, his heart was pounding rapidly.
In Gu Lao San’s eyes, a strange light flashed.
However, since the two of them weren’t normal people, their faces were as blank as could be when the black cloud neared the mountain.
When the black cloud was directly atop the mountain, the buzzing sound suddenly stopped. In place of it was the cold voice of a man.
“Those that are here for Opening Spirit Ceremony, come up with your Verification Sills. Once I finish examining them, I still have to go to other places.”
When his voice faded, the black cloud violently rumbled before a cloud ladder extended down toward the center of the mountain peak.
“Verification Sill”. When Liu Ming heard those words, he slightly paused, but before he could ask anything, Guan Lao Da shoved something into his hand while smiling.
“Please be carefully young master. All you have to do is give this sill to the leader of the envoy.”
After going through a couple of thoughts, Liu Ming didn’t say anything and walked toward the cloud ladder.
In the other two groups, Mu Ming Zhu and the tall young man also nervously went toward the cloud ladder after hearing the final parting words from their respective guardians.
Moments later, the three of them got to the cloud ladder at the same time and, after pausing, looked at each other.
“Hurry up. If we miss the timing, I will cancel your qualifications to open your spirits.” The man on the black cloud was already becoming somewhat impatient.
At this declaration, Mu Ming Zhu and the tall young man jumped up in shock and fear, no longer daring to tarry any further, they hastily rushed up the ladder toward the black cloud.
Liu Ming smiled before likewise lifting his foot to move.
The ladder looked like curled up fog, but when stepped on, it possessed a force that supported the body, making one feel as if one was stepping on real ground.
In his heart, Liu Mu felt mystified at this. Yet, he did not dare tarry as he followed behind the other two as they ascended toward the sky.
A short period of effort later, Mu Ming Zhu who was at the front finally reached the underside of the black cloud. As she looked toward the surging black gas in front of her, she grit her teeth and dashed in.
The tall and well built youth who was right behind momentarily hesitated for a bit before putting on a brave front and walked in. Though, his movements were clearly more rigid than before.
Behind them, Liu Mu had witnessed the actions of the two. However, he had no hesitation and with one swift movement, entered into the black fog.
The instant his body made contact with the black cloud, he felt slightly cold. However, when the light once again shone into his eyes, he had actually reached an immensely huge square platform.
The entire platform was about one acre large and shaded entirely in white. On its edges, more than ten strange sculptures were erected which were covered in dazzling white light.
In the middle of the platform, about a hundred youths stood in twos and threes, all of who were currently sizing up the three who had just entered with curious gazes.
Something occurred to Liu Ming as he lifted his head to look up.
All he saw was an ash-colored cloud quietly floating seven or eight meters above. Atop the cloud, a black-clothed middle-aged man sat cross-legged.
The man had some pockmarks on his face, but his two eyes flickered as he coldly stared at the trio.
“Are there only the three of you? Whatever. Take out your sills and announce your names, I am going to inspect your identities.”