Chapter 560: Qualifiers Begin
Xiao Chen and the others quickly looked in the direction Jiang Chi pointed at. They saw more than a hundred peaks over ten kilometers high at the limits of their vision.
The positioning of the mountain peaks was very peculiar. Strangely, they formed a huge ring. Then, in the middle of the ring of mountains were boundless clouds.
These clouds were also different from the usual white clouds. They clearly looked denser and their color was deeper.
From a distance, the mountain-peak ring and the clouds in the middle looked like a prison, like they were trapping something.
There were several tall towers on the summits of the mountains. Occasionally, warships and flying Spirit Beasts would stop there.
Xiao Chen felt it was strange. “There are hundreds of mountain peaks here. Which one is Dragon Sealing Mountain?”
Jiang Chi smiled gently and replied, “It is the one in the middle. However, because it was too tall, something had already chopped it down long ago. We can’t see it now, but after we pass the ring of mountains, we will be able to.”
After flying for another ten minutes, the Golden Jade Glazed Ship stopped at a mountain peak in the ring of mountains.
Many warships and huge flying Spirit Beasts had stopped at this mountain peak. A large number of people were heading for the towers here.
Jiang Chi led the six people into one of the towers. The sign-up counter for the Five Nation Youth Competition was located in the hall.
The sign-up procedures were rather simple. After examining the six’s bone age and recording their sect and names, the staff at the counter gave a dark dragon-shaped jade pendant to everyone.
“Come, let’s go up to the top!”
As the group climbed up the spiral staircase, they were filled with anticipation. Soon, they arrived at the top floor.
The top floor had no roof. When the group stood up, they could see their surroundings without obstruction. The scenery for thousands of kilometers around was clearly visible.
Many cultivators had already gathered on the top floor. Xiao Chen threaded through the crowd and headed to the edge facing the center of the ring of peaks.
What astonished Xiao Chen was that the center of the ring of peaks was, unexpectedly, a large city. This city was no smaller than Xihe Province’s Provincial Capital.
When looking down from the top floor, the buildings in the city were like ants. Only some unusual circular rock pillars, which stood several kilometers tall, were more visible.
These rock pillars filled the entire city. Some were tall and some were short. Together they formed a strange picture. Every rock pillar had a huge dragon carving coiled around it.
If one looked carefully, they would discover that this was a city built at the middle of a mountain.
The huge mountain looked like it had been chopped down halfway up. Then, a large city was built on the stump.
Jiang Chi explained to the six, “That is Dragon Sealing City. Below that is the stump of the chopped-off Dragon Sealing Mountain. Do you see those dragon pillars?
“When the qualifiers start, all the contestants on the third floor and above of every tower at the ring of peaks will fly towards Dragon Sealing City at the same time. As long as you are able to stand on top of a dragon pillar, you will be qualified to participate in the arena battles.
“There are ten dragon pillars in the middle that are clearly taller than the rest. If you are able to stand on those, you will become a seeded contestant. That is also the place with the most intense competition.
“As for the highest dragon pillar, whoever who stands on it will be the first seed. They will enjoy some advantages in regard to the competition arrangements.”
After Liu Suifeng heard that, he said, “It turns out that the first stage is so simple. This is easy.”
One of the old men from another nation could not help but smile coldly. “Idiot, in every Five Nation Youth Competition, one third of the contestants will fall and die here. There will only be more this year. How could it be as simple as you think?”
Jiang Chi followed up in a serious tone, “Indeed. In order to truly gain the qualifications to enter the arena battles, one has to stand on the pillar for at least a minute. Once you get on it, you cannot leave. If someone knocks you down before you stand on it for a minute, you will have to start again.”
The person who spoke earlier added, “You will suffer from many attacks from all directions in that one minute. Even if there are not ten thousand participants, there would be seven or eight thousand. Just think about how intense the fight for just four hundred spots would be.”
When Liu Suifeng and the others heard this, they could not help but feel nervous. No wonder the First Elder said that no one would be able to take advantage of the situation and obtain the qualifications for the arena battles.
One minute was just about sixty breaths of time. Normally, speaking, that would go by quickly.
However, when one was on the dragon pillar and defending for one minute, it would be hard to endure the attacks coming from all directions.
This was because it was not a one-on-one fight. The attacks one would have to endure were the killing moves or trump cards of countless people from all directions. If one was not careful, they might fall off.
Those with the qualification to take part in the Five Nation Youth Competition were all outstanding youths. For them to become Martial Kings before the age of twenty-four, if they were not outstanding youths, then what could they be?
However, these seven or eight thousand outstanding youths would have to go through a round of elimination first, which would allow four hundred genius cultivators to stand out.
One could easily imagine how strong and talented these four hundred people had to be. The high quality of the Five Nation Youth Competition left everybody stupefied.
Jiang Chi wanted to befriend the person who had spoken. He performed a cupped-fist salute and said, “I am the Heavenly Saber Pavilion’s First Elder, Jiang Chi. Might I ask for your esteemed name?”
The person at the side seemed to be in his fifties, but he was still very energetic and had a drawn-out aura. Clearly, he was also a half-step Martial Monarch that had reached his limits.
When that person heard Jiang Chi’s words, he returned the cupped-fist salute and said, “I am not an esteemed personage. My humble family name is Du and my name is Hui. I am the person in charge of the Great Jin Nation’s Breaking Saber Gate’s inner sect.”
Breaking Saber Gate… Jiang Chi thought for a while but could not recall any powerful sects in the Great Jin Nation called the Breaking Saber Gate.
Du Hui smiled gently and said, “Brother Jiang, there is no keep to overthink this. The Breaking Saber Gate is just a third-rate sect in the Great Jin Nation. How many people from your sect is participating this time?”
When Jiang Chi thought about it, that seemed about right. Although the Great Jin Nation had the ten great sects, they also had several small sects as well.
He pointed to Xiao Chen and the others as he answered, “Not many, just six.”
A young disciple beside Du Hui laughed mockingly and said, “I have heard about the Heavenly Saber Pavilion. It seems like that it is one of the Great Qin Nation’s three great sects. Unexpectedly, they have only six people. Even as a third-rate sect, our Breaking Saber Gate has ten-odd people.”
That disciple’s tone was clearly pleased; it contained the pride that the disciples of the Great Jin Nation had. When one heard it, they would feel displeased.
The Great Jin Nation had many Spirit Veins and was filled with Spiritual Energy. It was also very large. For the past ten thousand years, they had been able to completely suppress the other four great nations.
Jiang Chi had a somewhat embarrassed expression on his face. Unexpectedly, this young disciple had such poor manners.
Xiao Chen frowned slightly. A certain sharpness shone in his eyes as he said coldly, “No matter how many pieces of rotten wood there are, they will never be able to build a house.”
[TL note: No matter how many pieces of rotten wood there are, they will never be able to build a house: In case the meaning is not clear, this means that no matter how many weak people grouped up, they would not be able to defeat the strong.]
Even a third-rate sect of the Great Jin Nation was so arrogant. An insignificant disciple dared to speak to the older generation as though they were equals. This was an eye-opener to the Great Jin Nation’s arrogance.
That young disciple angrily demanded, “What do you mean? Are you calling us trash? You are just the disciple of a sect from the weakest of the four nations. Your words are really bold. You better make sure that I, Song Qing, don’t run into you during the arena battles.”
“Senior Brother, don’t bother with him. Do you even think that he can make it into the arena battles?”
When disciples of the various sects, or the independent cultivators, saw this scene, they all watched interestedly.
Du Hui frowned slightly and did not wish to allow matters to escalate. He said apologetically to Jiang Chi, “Brother Jiang, I apologize for my disciple’s rashness.”
Even though Du Hui said that, he did not make his disciple apologize. He only led the Breaking Saber Gate’s disciples to another area of the tower.
Before they left, Song Qing looked mockingly at Xiao Chen and the others, clearly looking down on them.
Liu Suifeng said angrily, “Who exactly are these people? They are just a third-rate sect of the Great Jin Nation yet they dare to speak like that.”
Jiang Chi said helplessly, “Never mind, this is how the Great Jin Nation’s people are.”
Had Jiang Chi known that the old man was from the Great Jin Nation, he would not have attempted to befriend him. When facing the people of the other four nations, the Great Jin Nation’s people had the mentality of themselves being better than others.
Only when everyone had gathered would the first stage begin. There were still many sects that had not arrived.
The group could only wait. As for the incident with the Breaking Saber Gate, it was just a minor matter; everyone soon forgot about it.
Time slowly went by. Suddenly, someone in the crowd at the top floor exclaimed, “The Supreme Sky Sect’s warship is coming!”
Cultivators in several towers on the mountain peaks immediately turned to take a look.
A golden warship flew over from the distance. A banner exclusive to the Supreme Sky Sect fluttered on the bow of the ship. It was easy to make out with one glance.
Xiao Chen sighed to himself. The attraction of a great sect in the Great Jin Nation was indeed on a different level. The moment they appeared, they drew the gazes of everyone.
“I hear that the Supreme Sky Sect’s Yue Chenxi already cultivated the Morning Sun Incantation to the thirteenth layer. Back then, a multicolored light appeared. Their Sect Master has announced that their target this time is a top ten rank.”
“It is not easy to reach the top ten. None of the great sects are easy to deal with.”
As the crowd discussed, another warship flew over. Someone recognized it and exclaimed, “The Evil Moon Pavilion is here as well. Bai Zhan managed to get into the top twenty the previous time. I wonder, what rank will he obtain this time?”
“The Drifting Snow Sword Sect’s and Supreme Yi Palace’s warships are here too. They are really powerful; the heirs of these two sects managed to rank in the top ten the previous time. I wonder if they will be able to keep their rankings this time.”
“The Sun Moon Sect is here too. The ten great sects of the Great Jin Nation are all here.”
As the warships of the ten great sects approached, they casually stopped at a mountain peak. The Drifting Snow Sword Sect’s warship unexpectedly stopped at the peak Xiao Chen’s group was at.
However, the Drifting Snow Sword Sect’s people went to a different tower. When Xiao Chen took a look, he discovered that the Drifting Snow Sword Sect had driven out the other people from that tower.
“Damn it! The Drifting Snow Sword Sect’s people are really tyrannical. The moment they arrived, they chased all of us away.”
The displaced cultivators had no choice but to come to Xiao Chen and the others’ tower. They cursed and swore as they came over.
Someone laughed coldly. “All you dare to do is curse and swear here. The participants of the Drifting Snow Sword Sect number in the hundreds. Why don’t you say what you just said to their faces?”
Xiao Chen ignored the quarrels of these people. Instead, he stared at a white figure at the tower in front. That person was a young man.
That person was dressed in white and his gaze was cold as he stared at the tallest dragon pillar in Dragon Sealing City.
That person just stood quietly, not moving at all. However, he looked like a lone, cold sword standing there. A sword intent soared into the sky and a cold sensation spread out.
When Jiang Chi saw this, he said gently, “That is the Drifting Snow Sword Sect’s First Disciple, Liu Xiaoyun. He was ranked tenth in the previous Five Nation Youth Competition. He was only eighteen, then. After a few years, his cold sword intent should have gotten more terrifying.”
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