Chapter 294 – Three Ranks of Human, Earth, Heaven
At this moment, Lin Ming had a very high need for a good spear. In his battle against Jiang Baoyun, he had been hard pressed by him, but eventually he overwhelmed Jiang Baoyun with his endurance, forcing him to make a final strike.
This was without a doubt partly due to Lin Ming’s slow speed, but another reason was because the insufficient power of the Heavy Profound Soft Spear was unable to display the full power of the azure true essence. Especially against Jiang Baoyun’s Black Crystal Sword, the difference was like heaven and earth.
If he could use the Violet Electricity Spirit Bamboo to make a low-grade earth-step treasure spear, then Lin Ming’s combat strength would instantly experience a great leap, and his power of thunder would be much stronger. If he fought Jiang Baoyun again, it wouldn’t be as onerous.
And after a few more days, Lin Ming would go to the Southern Wilderness and take the Eternal Flame Flame Essence. With the Flame Essence to assist the Violet Electricity Spirit Bamboo in creating a spear, it would be even more powerful.
As he thought this, the Heavenly Wind Eagle had already arrived at the Seven Profound Valleys’ highest peak. Lin Ming jumped down from the eagle’s back and walked to the entrance. In the Seven Profound Valleys, the eagles could not fly above the Grand Hall.
“I do say, Apprentice Nephew Lin, although as your Apprentice Uncle my achievements are far from comparable to yours, I still have many years of experience. A spear is powerful, but there are very few martial artists who practice the spear. As for martial artists who practice the sword, they are everywhere! Hehe, so what does this mean? This is proof that the sword is far superior to the spear. There is no way that so many people would be fools…” Liu Xuan jabbered endlessly as they walked together. In truth, he was using this as a way to comfort Lin Ming and showing that he cared for him in order to build a better relationship.
Lin Ming thought this was quite funny and simply didn’t respond. Like this, the two of them arrived in front of the Grand Hall within the square.
At this point, there were many people already gathered at the square. He casually glanced over them, and found that Jiang Baoyun, Mugu Buyu, Qin Wuxin, and Jiang Lanjian were all here. Including himself, they were the top six ranks of this year’s Total Faction Martial Meeting.
“Are they giving out the rewards?” Lin Ming thought. As he looked around, he saw many other youths who weren’t dressed in the attire of the Seven Profound Valleys’ disciples. Lin Ming didn’t have any idea why these people were here.
“Lin Ming, over here!” Jiang Baoyun beckoned.
As Jiang Baoyun called out ‘Lin Ming’, the eyes of more than 20 people suddenly turned onto him, their vision just like sharp arrows.
Lin Ming paused, what the hell was going on?
“This boy is Lin Ming?”
“The rising star rookie who defeated Jiang Baoyun? Looking at his age… he’s probably 18 years old.”
“His age isn’t strange, but why when I look at him do I see an early Pulse Condensation cultivation? What is Jiang Baoyun doing? He actually lost to a boy at the early Pulse Condensation period? Is the Seven Profound Valleys tricking us?”
Among the more than 20 people, the ones who were familiar with each other were discussing Lin Ming using true essence sound transmission. Jiang Baoyun could be considered as having a stellar reputation. This year, he had managed to successively defeat four top talents of different sects, but now he actually lost to a boy at the early Pulse Condensation period. This caused them to suspect that the Seven Profound Valleys was messing with them.
“You are Lin Ming?”
A young man carrying a saber casually looked Lin Ming up and down, sizing him up as he spoke.
“I heard that you defeated Jiang Baoyun. Good. That gives you the qualifications to be my opponent. After this meeting ends, I will meet you at the foot of the Seven Profound Valleys’ grandest mountain. I want to challenge you!” The young man stroked his saber blade as he said this, appearing quite confident.
Lin Ming was speechless. Where did this fellow jump out of? Why was this fellow looking him up and down… was he an idiot?
At this moment, Jiang Baoyun used a sound transmission and said, “Lin Ming, this silly fellow is Zhang Shaoshan from the White Peak Sect, currently 20 years old. Last year I went to White Peak Sect to challenge him, and he narrowly defeated me. Now, my strength has sharply risen, and I already know in my heart that Zhang Shaoshan is no longer my match. If I fight with him, it won’t help my swordsmanship, therefore I didn’t go to White Peak Sect this year to waste my time.”
“I see.” Listening to Jiang Baoyun’s words, Lin Ming couldn’t help but admire Jiang Baoyun’s temperament. Normally, if a martial artist lost to anyone, then would usually return at some later day to place another challenge, if only to relieve their spirit so their true essence flowed freely. However, Jiang Baoyun didn’t care at all about whether he won or lost, and only wished to challenge superior masters in order to enhance his swordsmanship. After knowing that this fellow was completely inferior to himself, Jiang Baoyun didn’t pay him a second of interest.
Jiang Baoyun continued, “This Zhang Shaoshan isn’t too strong. But among these people, there are some that even I am apprehensive about – they are very strong.”
Although Jiang Baoyun had a talent that defied the heavens and managed to defeated four top talents in succession this year, that didn’t mean that he was the number one junior among all the neighboring third-grade sects younger generation.
Of those 20-something people present, there were already some who were 21 or 22 years old. Although their talent might be slightly worse than Jiang Baoyun’s, because of the difference in age, they were actually stronger.
A youth who was already at the early Houtian realm looked at Lin Ming and said, “Lin Ming, I am Lin Ping from Peacock Mountain, we could said be barely related to each other because we share the same last name. I’m quite interested in you. I’m looking forward to your future growth. Two or three years later, you might have the qualifications to be my match. At that time, you can come to my Peacock Mountain and look for me to have a match.”
Lin Ping’s words were filled with an extreme sense of confidence. However, he truly did have the qualifications to be confident. Lin Ping was only 21 years old, but his cultivation had already reached the early Houtian realm. Out of everyone present, he had the highest cultivation.
After Lin Ping and Zhang Shaoshan spoke, two more people challenged Lin Ming to a match. These sorts of battles between fellow genius disciples were encouraged by the largest sects. In order to improve, one had to constantly fight and learn from other opponents. Some disciples with a naturally high perception might even gain insights from every battle.
But… while having a match wasn’t strange, Lin Ming wondered just why all of these people came to look for him. Did he taunt them at some point?
At this point, Jiang Baoyun laughed, and smiled as he passed on another sound transmission, “Do you think it’s strange that these people are all eyeing you like this? Divine Phoenix Island just presented a joint training program to raise talents. To be more specific, the greatest young talents of the 19 third-grade sects will be divided into three ranks: human, earth, and heaven. These people will be raised by Divine Phoenix Island and the sects.
“Each rank naturally gets different resources. Not only that, but the difference is great. Everyone wants to attain a higher rank and obtain more resources. As for Mu Qinghong complimenting you in front of the other sects’ Elders… everyone here has been made aware of this matter…”
Lin Ming listened, silent. He just didn’t have the words to respond. It seemed that even though he was lying down, he would still be struck by arrows! These third-grade sect talents, they were all full of arrogance and pride. They refused to believe that anyone was above them. Although Jiang Baoyun had defeated four top talents, and Lin Ming himself had defeated Jiang Baoyun, these talented disciples who were full of confidence didn’t believe that the rest of them would be defeated by Jiang Baoyun.
Who was strong, who was weak; all would be made clear in battle.
Jiang Baoyun saw Lin Ming’s speechless expression, and laughed, “The truth is, those people who jumped out at you – besides Lin Ping – aren’t that strong. Those that are genuinely strong haven’t made a sound yet; they don’t believe that they would lose to you. Everyone’s aiming for that heaven-step talent spot. After one is evaluated as a heaven-step talent, then they will enjoy treatment that is equal to being a core disciple of Divine Phoenix Island. Not only that, but they will be able to stay for a long time at Divine Phoenix Island.”
“Oh? Core disciple treatment?” Lin Ming was surprised, and then he asked through a true essence sound transmission with some confusion, “Why would Divine Phoenix Island propose a joint training program? This doesn’t have any advantage for them, right? Why would they want to raise other people’s children with their own rice?”
Jiang Baoyun shook his head and replied, “I’m not too clear about this. For these last two days, Divine Phoenix Island has invited the elders of the largest sects to come here and discuss something. There is probably something very big happening soon.”
At this time, an impatient voice interrupted Lin Ming and Jiang Baoyun’s true essence sound transmission.
“Lin Ming, are you a little girl or something? Do you not dare to fight me?” After being completely ignored by Lin Ming, Zhang Shaoshan looked extremely unhappy.
“Sorry, I’m not interested.” Lin Ming plainly replied. Since Jiang Baoyun had said this youth was weak, he naturally didn’t want to waste his time on him.
“You…!” Zhang Shaoshan was just about to act, when suddenly a spirit boat appeared in the sky above the Grand Hall’s square. As the spirit boat flew down, Lin Ming could see over 20 Xiantian masters onboard. As Lin Ming narrowed his eyes, he saw that among these masters were the Seven Profound Valleys’ Valley Masters and Deputy Valley Masters. There were also some other people who were wearing different attire than what the Seven Profound Valleys’ elders would wear. These were obviously elders from the other 19 third-grade sects.
With so many third-grade sect core disciples and elders gathered together in the Seven Profound Valleys, and also creating a joint training program for geniuses, just what was happening here?
After the many Xiantian masters flew down and seated themselves, there was a slight sound of fluttering clothes and a gorgeously graceful woman with a heavenly figure floated downwards. She wore a flame-colored fairy dress, and silver silk ribbons fluttered in the wind behind her like thin wings. Her smooth inky black hair was coiffed into a noble phoenix swirl, and her beautiful face was filled with an incomparably tranquil atmosphere. She was just like a divine goddess who was regarding the mortal world.
Lin Ming paused a bit. This woman was Mu Qianyu. He already had a faint guess in his heart of who this would be, therefore he wasn’t too surprised.
When they had met in the jungles of the Southern Wilderness, Lin Ming had seen Mu Qianyu’s disposition that was just like a young maiden’s. But as for the current Mu Qianyu, she was just like a divine saintess. She had a noble manner that made it hard to look up at her.
As for the other disciples around Lin Ming, many of them were staring at her with wide eyes. It wasn’t difficult to know why they were in such a sad state. After all, Mu Qianyu could be described as one of the most beautiful and elegant woman within the South Horizon Region, and she exuded an otherworldly feeling, free of mortal foibles. Coupled with her superior and haughty status, this inevitably caused people to go crazy with ideas of conquering her nobility and beauty.
Although these core disciples of large sects had amazing talent, their cultivation in the end wasn’t too high, and they didn’t seem to have an incomparably firm heart of martial arts like Lin Ming did, or a Sword Heart like Jiang Baoyun did Therefore there were many people who had turned dazed upon seeing Mu Qianyu. Thankfully, the majority of them were able to quickly readjust their thoughts.
But there was a small minority, such as the Acacia Faction’s Ouyang Ming, who cultivated the ‘Divine Acacia Power’, that found it exceedingly difficult to adjust themselves.
In addition, there was also that Zhang Shaoshan who had challenged Lin Ming. He was staring at Mu Qianyu with a look of fascination, his cheeks colored red with infatuation. He was thinking about how nice it would be if he was chosen as a heaven-step talent who could stay within Divine Phoenix Island. Thinking this, Zhang Shaoshan’s heart began to burn. If he could live at Divine Phoenix Island, would he be able to see this fairy maiden every day?