Saber intent spread throughout Xiao Chen’s body. The sharp clangor in the air rang endlessly, making those who heard it want to cover their ears.
There were many people who had come to the city affairs office to obtain Outstanding Talent Tokens as well as to do other things. These people saw this scene and could not help paying more attention.
When these people saw someone daring to clash with Liu Yun in aura, they could not help their surprise.
In this vast Dark City, Liu Yun was famous. He was extremely strong, capable of defeating some Consummation quasi-Emperors.
Liu Yun withdrew his gaze, and anticipation blazed in his eyes when he said to Ba Tu, “What a fellow! Unexpectedly, he is rather capable. Ba Tu, I’ll accept your bet!”
Ba Tu asked in a voice projection, Xiao Chen, are you confident? I did not recognize that Xia Yang at first. This fellow is rather famous in Dark City, not at all inferior to the many descendants of the Black Sea’s Great Bandits.
He is probably here to get a new Outstanding Talent Token because his previous one is about to expire. If you are not confident, I’ll just admit my loss this time and get my uncle to help you obtain an Outstanding Talent Token.
Xiao Chen replied calmly, There is no need. Feel free to bet big; go as big as you want. I’ll help you win it all.
Upon hearing what Xiao Chen said, Ba Tu immediately calmed down. He smiled and said, “Liu Yun, let’s bet big this time. The loser will give the other party two hundred Essence Stones. How about that?!”
Two hundred Essence Stones!
The moment Ba Tu said that, not only did Liu Yun’s face twitch, but even the young cultivators who came over to watch the commotion all felt shocked.
Essence Stones could be extracted only from a King Spirit Vein. These were necessary items for Martial Emperors to cultivate. Without advancing to Martial Emperor, there would not be any channels for one to purchase Essence Stones, except for auctions.
Because of the Great Bandits behind these outstanding talents and the resource-rich Black Sea, they could obtain some Essence Stones from their clan every month.
However, these Great Bandits’ descendants would receive no more than twenty every month. When they cultivated, they still relied on Holy Spirit Veins.
Ba Tu bet two hundred Essence Stones in one go. It looked like the frustration in his heart was very great and he wanted to vent it all on this huge bet.
Xia Yang’s eyes burned with a strong fighting spirit. Brother Liu, agree to it. I happen to bear the brat beside him a grudge. I can suppress his sharpness here.
Liu Yun sent a voice projection asking if Xia Yang was confident or not. He had only about three hundred Essence Stones, all of them saved up over time.
Don’t worry. I already cultivated my Thunder Fire Art to the tenth layer. It will be more than enough to surpass him in the test for the Outstanding Talent Token, Xia Yang guaranteed confidently.
Originally, Liu Yun already looked down on Ba Tu and was not willing to appear weaker in front of him. With Xia Yang’s guarantee, he immediately agreed to Ba Tu’s bet, saying loudly, “Coincidentally, I am lacking in Essence Stones. Since you want to give them to me, naturally, I have no objection.”
“Ba Tu and Liu Yun are clashing with each other. There is going to be a good show!”
“The bet is really big. Two hundred Essence Stones. If I had two hundred Essence Stones, it would be sufficient to raise my cultivation by twenty percent!”
“Stop with these foolish words. Your clan does not have any Sovereign Martial Emperor, so how are you going to obtain two hundred Essence Stones? Even if the elders of your clan found any, they would keep it for themselves.”
The huge bet between Ba Tu and Liu Yun immediately attracted many youths who came to obtain an Outstanding Talent Token, causing them to head over to watch.
Aside from the Great Bandits’ descendants using their connections to obtain the Outstanding Talent Tokens, it was also possible for the public to receive it as well.
All one had to do was pass a few tests set by the City Lord’s Residence’s city affairs office. After that, one would also get the Outstanding Talent Token, which would allow one to enjoy all sorts of privileges in Dark City; it was equal to an immunity token.
[TL Note: In ancient China, Emperors would occasionally issue death sentences out of anger. So, to protect certain people from this, especially his loved ones, he would issue them immunity tokens to circumvent this, allowing them to escape the punishment once. It was kind of like a “get out of jail free” card. It could also be given out as a reward.]
No expert would dare to kill the holder of an Outstanding Talent Token, or at the very least, not in the Dark Sea.
Aside from this, with the Outstanding Talent Token, the holder could enter the various high-level areas without any obstructions, enjoying the most honored treatment.
Not only did the outstanding talents of the Black Sea come to the Dark City to obtain an Outstanding Talent Token, but so did many outstanding talents from other sea regions who had heard of its fame.
In the Kunlun Realm, as long as one was not over fifty years old, one could be called a youth. Thus, the city affairs office was frequently crowded with applicants.
Even though many people went to the city affairs office, few managed to obtain an Outstanding Talent Token.
The reason was simple: the tests of the city affairs office were too hard.
Liu Yun and Xia Yang entered the city affairs office first, and Xiao Chen and Ba Tu followed after. According to the rules of the city affairs office, after registering, one would be led to the testing hall.
The splendid, vast testing hall was filled with people. Xiao Chen found the situation somewhat strange when he saw it. He had not expected there to be so many applicants for an Outstanding Talent Token.
A quick count came to no less than one hundred people of ages ranging from twenty to fifty. Their strengths varied, as did their races.
There were humans, Fiend Race, Ghost Race, and even some Demon mixed-bloods. This was a great eye-opener.
Dark City was truly a city that gathered people of influence. Just the test for the Outstanding Talent Token could attract so many outstanding talents here.
While these people were all different from each other, the pride they radiated and their unyielding natures were similar.
After training in the Black Sea for a long time, one’s whole body would absorb its vicious air, which was hard to eliminate. However, outstanding talents would not let this atmosphere of negative emotions affect their minds and character. Instead, they used it to strengthen their own auras.
Liu Yun’s arrival caused a large commotion. This Great Bandit’s descendant was very famous.
In contrast, even though Ba Tu was also a Great Bandit’s descendant, fewer people focused on him. After all, Dark City was a place where strength ruled, a place where strength was worshiped.
If it were Ba Tu’s first brother here, the situation would definitely be different.
“Dong! Dong! Dong!”
A clatter of footsteps rang out. Countless people streamed in from outside the city affairs office to watch, which the outstanding young talents who were undergoing the test found strange.
The city affairs office did not prohibit people from watching the tests for the Outstanding Talent Token. However, under normal circumstances, such a lively scene rarely happened.
Even so, there was always be an exception to everything.
Indeed, after asking around, the applicants found out about the bet between Ba Tu and Liu Yun. After that, they put on strange expressions.
“Where did that white-robed bladesman come from? Unexpectedly, he dares to compete with a descendant of the legendary Thunder Fire Sovereign!”
“I don’t know. I have never seen him before. However, it seems like he is still a middle-stage Great Perfection quasi-Emperor. His cultivation is weaker than Xia Yang’s.”
“That white-robed fellow must have a great background. Otherwise, Ba Tu would not be so bold.”
“Haha! That might not be so. I feel that this was just bravado. It is already hard to say whether a nameless person can successfully obtain the Outstanding Talent Token, so how could he compete with Xia Yang?”
“That’s right. He will definitely lose!”
The cultivators started discussing with each other. Some of the outstanding young talents taking the test stopped, wanting to let these two have the place to themselves.
The two immediately headed for the first test that the city affairs office set.
A test of strength!
Xiao Chen was no stranger to such testing methods. This was exactly the same as the one in front of the Heavenly Cauldron Pavilion. A hundred-meter-tall stele towered over the applicants in the testing hall, and an exquisite formation connected it to a metal puppet.
The only difference was the red marks on the chest, throat, forehead, and some other places of the metal puppet.
An old man beside the stele explained, and Xiao Chen understood that this testing stele was for testing close-combat prowess. These vital spots had extra reinforcements that made them even harder for force to penetrate.
This was similar to how cultivators would place extra protections over these vital spots.
If one was confident, one would attack these vital spots on the metal puppets. If one’s strength could penetrate the targeted spot, one would be able to light up more gems on the stele.
If one’s strength was insufficient, one’s result would end up reduced, causing one’s elimination in the first round.
Most people would not choose to attack these vital points but simply use the ordinary method to test their strength.
The city affairs office elder standing guard at the first test said expressionlessly, “The first test will test your strength. If you want to obtain the Outstanding Talent Token, you have to light up gems in the sixth row, at least. For every gem in the sixth row that you light up, you get one point. The highest score you can obtain is ten points.”
Xiao Chen could not help but be surprised. In the test by the Heavenly Cauldron Pavilion, those that could light up the sixth row were mostly Consummation quasi-Emperors.
Yet, in this place, the minimum criterion to obtain the Outstanding Talent Token was to light up gems on the sixth row. The threshold was truly extraordinarily high.
No wonder Liu Yun said that even if one was a Great Perfection quasi-Emperor, one might not be able to obtain an Outstanding Talent Token.
As for the points mentioned, Xiao Chen knew there was a total of four tests. The sum of the points would determine one’s ranking.
“I will make you sink into despair at this first test!”
Xia Yang was clearly confident in the test of strength. Right after the old man spoke, he immediately walked over.
With each step he took, a layer of purple thunder fire appeared. His aura was startling. Sparks danced in the air inside the vast hall.
If not for the restrictions of the hall, lightning might have even struck.
“Thunder Fire Art, this is a Profound Cultivation Technique created by the legendary Thunder Fire Sovereign. Its explosive power is quick and violent!”
“I wonder how many layers Xia Yang has cultivated? As long as he has reached the seventh layer, he will most likely defeat that white-robed bladesman.”
The legendary Thunder Fire Sovereign was very famous. Although the Xia Clan was not as powerful as it had been, no one dared to underestimate the might of this Thunder Fire Art.
Xia Yang took a total of ten steps. With each step, one more layer of purple fire appeared on his body. When he finished taking those ten steps, the crowd exclaimed in surprise.
Amid the many layers of fire, Xia Yang’s aura already reached its peak. It was no inferior to that of a regular Consummation quasi-Emperor. In fact, it might even be slightly stronger.
“He actually cultivated the Thunder Fire Art to the tenth layer. This Xia Yang really hid his skills very deeply. There will probably be a great surprise during the upcoming Outstanding Talent Summit Meeting.”
“There is no more hope. Ba Tu’s two hundred Essence Stones are as good as gone!”
Right after Xia Yang finished storing power, he shouted a war cry and punched the metal puppet. The testing stele flashed as the rows of gems lit up quickly.
Soon, all the gems of the fifth row were glowing. Then, the first purple gem of the sixth row lit up, slowly followed by the second, third, fourth, and more.
This result sent the crowd into an uproar. Xia Yang’s punch lit up nine gems on the sixth row—a shocking result. He surpassed many Consummation quasi-Emperors.
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