Chapter 168 - Expectations
“Ah, Xiao Yun, as long as you work hard and show your talent, the sect will make every effort to train you,” Temple Master Jiang said to Xiao Yun with a smile, his tone very polite.
A genius disciple like Xiao Yun only appeared once in a blue moon, so even Temple Master Jiang was ecstatic.
“Thank you, Temple Master, for helping me grow. I will not disappoint you,” Xiao Yun said and bowed. The feeling that he belonged in the Heaven Origin Sect grew with each minute. As long as he had the strength, he would not be overlooked here, and the elders wouldn’t attack any of the geniuses because of that.
Except, of course, those who had personal vendettas.
“Good.” Temple Master Jiang nodded, seeing Xiao Yun’s unwavering determination and confidence.
After discovering that Xiao Yun’s Martial Spirit was acquired, he suddenly gained some more hopes and expectations towards the boy. If an Innate Martial Spirit could prove Xiao Yun’s incredible potential, then his Acquired Martial Spirit was proof that he had immense perseverance and wasn’t just posturing. With great perseverance and a good future ahead of him, there was no reason that Xiao Yun wouldn’t be able to become a real expert and soar among the nine heavens.
The fact that Xiao Yun had survived the onslaught of the Qiu clan was even more evidence that he was extraordinary. After all, Temple Master Jiang knew quite a bit about the goings-on in the Moonwind Kingdom.
Manager Qin looked quite relieved. In all these years that he’d been in the Heaven Origin Sect, this was the first time he’d managed to be lucky enough to discover such a genius.
"Alright, next, you 17 will perform the second round of testing, which is the martial competition," Temple Master Jiang announced.
"Yessir!" The seventeen people cleared their minds, preparing to deal with the next test.
Even though first place was already taken, they still couldn’t afford to be careless, for if they could gain some more points during the practical combat tournament, then they’d be able to receive some more resources in the future. That way, they wouldn’t lose from the get-go.
Soon after, everyone arrived at a martial arts demonstration platform in the drilling grounds and prepared for the tournament. As for Xiao Yun and the managers, they stood on another platform in front of the demonstration platform, observing from afar.
Standing on the demonstration platform was Zhang Tianlong, the same young man from before.
"You will be participating in tournament style matches as well as challenges," Zhang Tianlong said with a glance towards the seventeen people. "The rules are simple. First, you'll be split into eight groups for the matches, and eight victors will emerge. The losers will challenge the victors, and for each challenge that is won, you will receive five points. If the challenged person loses, then they will lose five points. If they win, they will gain five points."
"Remember, those who lose the first round have three chances to challenge someone, and one person can only be challenged three times. Due to an uneven number of people, Chen Feng will be a victor. If no one challenges him, then he will automatically gain fifteen points."
Chen Feng was able to have such an advantage because he had the highest score out of the seventeen people.
“Does anyone have any questions?” Zhang Tianlong asked as he swept his gaze over the gathered disciples.
“No,” the crowd said in unison.
Though Chen Feng seemed to have gained an advantage, he had also lost an opportunity. Because he had one less match than everyone else, that meant that if anyone else won four matches in a row, they would gain 20 points. On the other hand, Chen Feng had the highest points, so even if anyone won four matches in a row, they’d be hard-pressed to threaten Chen Feng’s standing.
That is, unless someone challenged Chen Feng, and made him lose multiple matches in a row.
"Okay, now everyone come and draw lots," Zhang Tianlong instructed, as a small bowl appeared in his hands. "There are sixteen wooden signs in here, each with one of eight numbers. If you get the same number as someone else, then you two will duel for the first round of the competition."
That’s a pretty fair way of doing it. On the opposite platform, Xiao Yun nodded, satisfied with the Heaven Origin Sect’s method.
The sixteen disciples did as they were told and stepped forward to draw lots.
Soon, the eight pairs of opponents were chosen.
“Alright, now go over to the competition platforms and begin your matches.” Zhang Tianlong focused his gaze and pointed in front of the demonstration platform, where several narrow platforms were. Each was only 15 feet wide, they surrounded the demonstration platform in a ring.
Evidently, they were standing on the main platform.
The crowd nodded and rushed towards the competition platforms. Soon after, they began their matches.
Fourteen of the sixteen people had stepped into the True Essence realm, and of the remaining few, Duan Ling’er was in the Innate realm, while the other youth, named Zhao Hai, was only in the complete stage of the Innate realm. They were unfortunate, for their very first opponents were experts in the True Essence realm.
Though both of them had a wind spirit body and a water spirit body, respectively, other people also had spirit bodies, and because of the difference they had in their cultivation realms, they were quickly defeated in their first rounds. In contrast to the competition platforms that they were on, the other six competition platforms had much fiercer matches.
Each of the remaining people demonstrated their own ultimate skills and went all out. Each of these people had exhibited their own outstanding skills. It was hard to tell who would come out on top.
Even though Xiao Yun didn’t have to participate in the tournament, he still observed quietly from afar, so that he would be able to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each spirit body.
Each spirit body has its own advantages, and in order to win, it’s ultimately up to the individual’s understanding of martial arts and combat experience in order to bring out their innate strength. Having a spirit body is not the be all and end all; it’s just an advantage over ordinary people. After some observation, Xiao Yun gained an understanding of the situation. Wind spirit bodies gave the cultivator a great speed boost, so they could come and go like the wind.
Unfortunately, this spirit body didn’t have much attack power. If one were to depend on its power to compete with others, one would need a more powerful trump card as backup, or one would need to take full advantage of the wind spirit body. Generally speaking, it was difficult to tell which constitution was the strongest.
Very soon, the first round of the tournament was over.
Next would be the challenge matches.
“Big Brother, may I forfeit the tournament?” Duan Ling’er called out.
“You may,” Zhang Tianlong said, “Knowing your limits is a good quality. In the future, you can raise your cultivation to make up for it.”
The two disciples who were in the Innate realm both forfeited the tournament. Because of how low their cultivation was, it was almost impossible for them to win.
Next up were the challenge matches, and after a few rounds, some people won, while others lost.
In the following half-day, the results finally came out. Chen Feng ultimately received the highest score, and runner-up was Wang Lei, the youth with the Essence Recovering Martial Spirit.
Wang Lei not only had a mystical Martial Spirit to help him recover his depleted Essene Qi in a short amount of time, his own cultivation level and his understanding of martial arts was extraordinary as well, and after a few rounds of combat, the advantages of having ample Essence Qi was clearly reflected.
“This batch of disciples are pretty good. Chen Feng and Wang Lei both have a great potential.” After the tournament ended, Temple Master Jiang nodded in satisfaction at the youths’ performances. The fact that three out of the eighteen disciples turned out to have Martial Spirits was a pleasant surprise as well.
The other youths who had spirit bodies were also extraordinary, but they were still one step behind, by comparison.
“Hopefully at least one of these new disciples will be able to really amaze everyone and stand out in the Mysterious Essence Battlefield,” one manager said.
“The Hundred Sect War that’s only once every seven years is coming up soon as well!”
“Hundred Sect War?” The elders couldn’t help but become solemn at the mention of such an affair, but their eyes shone with hope at the same time. “If they can reveal their talents at the Hundred Sect War, then the Heaven Origin Sect will be truly blessed!”
“I wonder if he’ll be willing to enter the Mysterious Essence Battlefield?” Temple Master Jiang narrowed his eyes at Xiao Yun. The Mysterious Essence Battlefield was incredibly dangerous; it was quite rare for disciples to return alive. If one wanted to really stand out in the Hundred Sect War, then one would need to be a truly extraordinary genius. “Unfortunately, his cultivation realm is still a bit too low.”
Soon, Temple Master Jiang shook his head.
Xiao Yun was only at the complete stage of the Innate realm. No matter how much talent he had, it would be difficult for anyone to meet the requirements of the Hundred Sect War in such a short time.
“Tianlong, take this data and use it to arrange their residences.” After some consideration, Temple Master Jiang resolved not to think too much about the matter, and he turned his gaze to Zhang Tianlong and said, “As for Xiao Yun, he can use any resources he wishes within the Core Temple.”
“Yessir!” Zhang Tianlong received his orders, and after compiling the data, he led everyone to the residences where the new disciples lived.
“The Core Temple belongs to the main peak. The side peaks are where the disciples reside. The older disciples live in the Leaping Dragon Peak, while you new disciples will live in this Novice Peak. However, there are 65 other new disciples who have been either recommended or discovered by some elders during their travels, and they’ve been in the sect for several months, so your residential courtyards will be separate from theirs.” Zhang Tianlong unsheathed a magic flying sword and ferried the 18 new disciples into the air, pointing at the mountains as he made his explanation.
As they listened to Zhang Tianlong’s introduction, the new disciples were entranced, and they took his words to heart. They gazed over the mountains at their side, wanting to see what was so special about the place that they were about to settle down in.
Xiao Yun peered through the clouds at the mountains as well.
The main peak towered into the clouds, and beside it were dozens of side peaks, some tall and some short, but they all appeared to extraordinary. Xiao Yun could feel the thick Essence Qi among the peaks, and it was denser than the Essence Qi in the nearby mountain peaks.
At the same time, Xiao Yun could see several quadrangles on the Novice Peak. One quad was on the mountainside, while the other was closer to the peak.
“Big Brother, what’s the difference in our residences?” Suddenly, Liu Zhong spoke up.
“Naturally there’s a difference,” Zhang Tianlong said, “Within the same quad, there is also a hierarchy in the residences within.”
“Oh?” Everyone’s interest was piqued.
“There are nine levels,” Zhang Tianlong said, “In the first level of the courtyard, the Essence Gathering Formation will gather Heaven and Earth Essence Qi at the slowest speed, while the second level of the courtyard will be slightly faster, and so on. At the ninth level, the Essence Gathering Formation’s speed will be several times that of the eighth level. Oh, and of course, the disciples who joined a few months before you are in slightly higher courtyards than you. These are all decided by rankings, so as long as you work hard, you still have a chance to rank up.”
“So there’s quite the detailed separation.” The crowd suddenly understood why the managers valued the ranking so much.
If they could obtain the best residence, then high-ranking disciples would be able to use it to look down on everyone else. In the case of little difference in talent, resources would make the biggest difference.