Chapter 163 - The Core Temple
As Manager Qin flew the flying carpet into the Heaven Origin Sect, everyone’s eyes lit up as they saw rolling green mountains as far as the eye could see. Above them, the mountains reached far into the clouds, though the blue sky and white clouds were still visible. Even though there was a magical array around them, they did not feel the slightest discomfort, as if there hadn’t been any array at all.
As they entered the Heaven Origin Sect, the air shining with light, a group of cultivators flew in their direction. These cultivators wore iron armor and wielded polearms. Every one of them had a hawk-like severity to them, their eyes flashing.
These people were the Heaven Origin Sect’s mountain-patrolling Iron Guards.
There were five Iron Guards, and their leader was a middle-aged man. He wore silver armor, with a cape that made him seem incredibly formidable. He had a powerful presence that was on par with that of Manager Qin, and he was dignified like one who had stepped into the ninth level of the Essence Core realm.
“What an incredible presence.” Seeing that the Iron Guard was approaching, Liu Wulong and the others couldn’t help but stand in awe.
These five people had a cool severity on their faces, and their eyes were cold as well, giving off a strong formidability. There was even a viciousness rolling off their bodies, and the young men on the flying carpet couldn’t help but shiver.
“The Heaven Origin Sect really is extraordinary,” Xiao Yun said to himself. He felt an overwhelming viciousness emanating from the Iron Guards - clearly, these people had all witnessed some kind of carnage, to be infected by such a fear-inducing air.
Most of these geniuses who had come from the Moonwind Kingdom had never experienced anything too harsh, and it was natural that they would be cowed by such a presence. Xiao Yun, however, was calm. After experiencing so many hardships, and after being oppressed so many times by experts in the Essence Core realm, his mind and body had been honed to an unwavering determination. Even though he felt cautious towards these people, he was far from shaking in his boots.
“This is the Heaven Origin Sect’s Iron Guard, in charge of patrolling the mountain gate. The ones wearing iron armor are the soldiers, and the one in silver is the captain.” One of the directors to the side smiled slightly as he explained this to the youths behind him. “The soldiers are all in the first level of the Essence Core realm, while the captain is in the ninth level of the Essence Core realm. The commander is Quasi Essence Soul realm and is a real expert; someone who’s Half Step Essence Soul realm can’t even compare.”
“The Heaven Origin Sect really has some powerful figures!” After hearing the director’s explanation, the geniuses in the back couldn’t help but become excited, and their blood began to boil. If even the patrolling guards were in the Essence Core realm, then it was clear to see how extraordinary this Heaven Origin Sect was. If they cultivated here, then their future potential would be immeasurable.
As they thought about being able to step into the Essence Core realm themselves, and perhaps having the chance to enter the Essence Soul, these young geniuses’ shock and awe quickly turned to fiery passion. Their eyes radiated hope as they looked into the distance, as if they could see their future.
Seeing these youths get so fired up, the directors on the flying carpet couldn’t help but stroke their beards and smile. As long as they had the hearts of experts and worked tirelessly, they would be able to become experts.
At this moment, Manager Qin stopped the flying carpet, and he glanced over at the Iron Guard Captain with a smile.
“Oh, Captain Liu, it’s your turn to patrol the mountain today!” Manager Qin smiled again.
“That’s right. I didn’t know Manager Qin was returning.” Captain Liu smiled back, then swept his gaze over the youths on the flying carpet. “These are the new disciples chosen from the Moonwind Kingdom?”
“Precisely.” Manager Qin laughed and said, “This is the list of names. You can count them.” The manager had a magic tablet to record the number of disciples who would be inducted into the Heaven Origin Sect. In order to prevent unwanted visitors, all those who entered the gates to the Sect had to be cleared from the list on the tablet.
“Looks like they’re all here.” After Captain Liu took the tablet, a strong wave of energy spread across the youths on the flying carpet. He nodded slightly and returned the tablet to Manager Qin. Captain Liu gave a faint smile and said, “I heard that you had some unexpected gains this time, which one is it?”
Captain Liu was slender, dressed in silver armor and armed with a polearm. He looked very impressive. His gaze was sharp as a knife as he glanced at the young disciples. He’d obviously heard about the incoming disciples, as his eyes were filled with expectations.
“Yes, we did have unexpected gains this time, and we got a real prodigy,” Manager Qin laughed. “Xiao Yun, come meet Captain Liu. He too has extraordinary talent, being at the ninth level of the Essence Core realm though he is only 30 years old.”
“It’s my honor to meet you, Captain.” Xiao Yun stepped forward and bowed to the man in front of him. He was calm, and his tone and clear words reflected it. He was neither haughty nor humble, and he didn’t betray a trace of tension or anxiety. After he had seen the Heavenly Capital Domain Emissary, he no longer was shocked at seeing someone who was in the ninth level of the Essence Core realm.
“Not bad, not bad.” Captain Liu’s gaze focused on Xiao Yun, sweeping him from top to bottom. Then he grinned and complimented Xiao Yun. It was rare to see someone who was able to maintain such a calm and collected attitude when faced with Captain Liu’s imposing aura.
After all, when met with his gaze, even youths outside the Moonwind Kingdom would feel some degree of unease or fear. There were almost none who could remain as cool as Xiao Yun, and it was easy to tell that his mental fortitude was much stronger than others and that he had a great amount of potential.
“Thank you for your praise, Captain Liu.” Xiao Yun smiled faintly. His words were very polite, but they did not hold a trace of fawning or sweet-talking.
“This kid is extraordinary!” Seeing how calm Xiao Yun was, the Iron Guards behind Captain Liu let their approval shine through on their faces. Captain Liu was in the ninth level of the Essence Core realm, and he had a great chance of becoming an Essence Soul realm cultivator. After being praised by such a figure, any beginner disciple had to feel flattered. But Xiao Yun remained calm, which was truly surprising.
“Oh, the other managers had their own gains too. The number of new disciples entering the Core Temple will greatly surpass that of previous years. If you work hard, you can have the world.” Captain Liu smiled, then led his Iron Guards away.
“You can start leading your groups inside,” Manager Qin said to several of the directors around him.
“Yes!" Some of the directors nodded, and after taking out flying magical tools of their own, they swept their arms and led their disciples to their respective peaks. In the blink of an eye, only Xiao Yun and Manager Qin were left on the flying carpet.
“Next, I’ll take you to report to the Core Temple,” Manager Qin said with a smile, “This Core Temple is under the Master’s Peak, and it’s the place where all of the Heaven Origin Sect’s geniuses gather. Anyone who joins it must have extraordinary talent and potential.”
“Many of these genius disciples took only three months, or at most half a year, to be accepted, and you’re one of the last.” Manager Qin explained everything about the Core Temple to Xiao Yun. Because the disciples of the Core Temple were almost always recommended by sect members or were scouted, none of them had to take the troublesome examination. Instead, they all immediately became core disciples.
Fang Hao, who possessed an Ice Martial Spirit, had been recommended as a disciple by the Qiu Clan to Qiu Xuan Ji.
The elders’ disciples, with their distinguished status, were able to directly become core disciples. Disciples of the Core Temple also had the opportunity to become disciples of the elders. However, the elders were often in closed-door training, in an effort to step into the Essence Soul realm, so in order to be accepted as a disciple under an elder, one had to really stand out.
Fang Hao had an Ice Martial Spirit, and Qiu Xuan Ji had a cold-type spirit body, so the two were considered to be compatible. That was why they could make such an exception.
In Nanjiang, anyone who possessed a Martial Spirit or a spirit body would be directly accepted as a core disciple as long as they received a recommendation. That was why there were so many disciples in the Core Temple. Geniuses like Xiao Yun who were discovered in the assessment were exceedingly rare.
As Manager Qin sailed towards the fog-shrouded mountains ahead, Xiao Yun couldn’t help but feel a deep regret. Were it not for the fact that his Martial Spirit stagnated after its awakening, he would’ve been able to join so many major sects.
But it’s not too late now. Gazing at the main peak rising above the clouds, Xiao Yun clenched his fists tightly. Even if it had been delayed for several years, he now had an opportunity. No matter what, he was going to reach the top of the world.
“That’s the main peak in front of us. The Core Temple is on the peak to its side,” Manager Qin said as he pointed to the mountains before them.
The main peak towered above the clouds. The mountain walls were steep and had side peaks attached. The Core Temple was on a side peak and belonged to the main peak. The flying carpet approached a side peak. As the clouds dissipated, Xiao Yun looked through them and saw a huge schoolyard.
In front of the schoolyard, there was a magnificent hall that looked like an ancient watchtower, majestic and imposing. At the doorway of the hall, a plaque hung, with “Core Temple” carved in gold.
A few elders stood on the platform in the middle of the schoolyard in front of the Core Temple. There were a dozen youths among the elders, and the two groups were discussing something. Xiao Yun put out his senses, and he found that the elders were all extraordinary, and their strength was not weaker than Manager Qin.
“That is the head of the Core Temple, Jiang Huai. For now on, you’ll be under his care.” The Manager Qin pointed to an old man dressed in an ink-black robe.
Xiao Yun directed his gaze to this elder. He had a short beard, and his face was very dry and emaciated. He had sunken eyes, out of which flashed an intimidating and almost oppressive light.
As if detecting the arrival of Xiao Yun and Manager Qin, the elder on the platform below them raised his head to look at them.
“Ah, now that Manager Qin has come, we can confirm the rankings of these disciples.” A slightly chubby elder smiled, and everyone else’s eyes were drawn to Xiao Yun.
“This is the genius he picked from the Moonwind Kingdom? What’s so special about him?” A red-faced elder frowned and huffed, “He’s only at the complete stage of the Innate realm; he can’t be compared to these two geniuses I scouted from the Nanli Kingdom.”
As he spoke, the red-faced elder peered proudly at the two youths next to him.