Chapter 439 – First Class Soldier
After arriving at this point, naturally there wasn’t anyone who would quit. The man surnamed Zhou nodded with satisfaction and said, “If that’s the case, then you may enter the Ten Thousand Killing Array and we shall judge the level of your strength based on your points. Afterwards, you will be enrolled in squads corresponding with your strength. I fully urge you all to display your full strength so that you can join a squad with a higher combat strength. It will be easier for you to accumulate military exploits as well as increase your chances of living!
“Now, all of you come up one at a time! You, come up first!” The man surnamed Zhou casually chose someone. As he spoke, a man beside him activated the Ten Thousand Killing Array. The Ten Thousand Killing Array appeared in the square behind them; most of those here had experienced this array before.
This was the most common illusory killing array within the South Sea Horizon Region to test a martial artist’s strength.
“Anyone who can reach 100,000 points is a first class soldier, 50,000 points is a second class soldier, 20,000 points is a third class soldier, and as for anyone below that, I advise you to go home lest you just go to the battlefield and die before you can accomplish anything.
Anyone who obtained less than 20,000 points would be the weakest sort of Houtian martial artist; they would be in trouble even if they faced a third-grade sect’s Pulse Condensation period disciple. If they went to the battlefield, they didn’t even have the qualifications to serve as cannon fodder.
As the first man entered the Ten Thousand Killing Array, a martial artist on the side lit an incense stick. As the incense stick burnt down, the martial artist’s complexion turned white, and then he drew back from the Ten Thousand Killing Array.
“36,000 points, third class soldier!” The man surnamed Zhou impassively announced.
As the man who was just tested heard this score, he was a bit surprised for a moment. It was hard for him to accept this momentarily. Because many free martial artists rarely met other martial artists of the same level, they were always very confident in themselves. Otherwise, they would never have come to the South Sea battlefield that had such a high mortality rate.
But now that the result of this test was announced, he was only a third class soldier. It was unavoidable that his confidence would be attacked.
“Next!” The man surnamed Zhou casually swept over to another man, continuing down the line.
A second man entered, and after an incense stick of time passed, he left.
“28,000 points, third class soldier!”
“33,000 points, third class soldier!”
“40,000 points, third class soldier!”
“19,000 points, you are unqualified!”
As 10 people were tested, none of them actually passed 50,000 points. They were all third class soldiers, and there was even one that didn’t qualify.
That unqualified man took a major strike to his self-esteem, he left with an extremely depressed expression.
The man surnamed Zhou was still calm, he had already expected that something like this would happen. He pointed at the woman who he had mentioned earlier and said, “You, your turn!”
The woman wore all black and was thin with average looks. After she entered the Ten Thousand Killing Array, a man from the back lit an incense stick. This time, the incense burned for a much longer time. After the first stick of incense burnt down, even the second incense stick burnt down.
When the third incense stick was almost burnt halfway, the woman gave a light cough and then left the Ten Thousand Killing Array.
“96,000 points, second class soldier!”
All the other martial artists in the room exclaimed in surprise. They didn’t think that this black-dressed, ordinary looking woman would actually be so strong.
96,000 points was over two times as much as the next highest scoring person!
The woman’s expression didn’t change – it seemed that she had already expected a result like this.
“You’re next! Come up!” The man surnamed Zhou pointed at Lin Ming.
Lin Ming slowly walked over to the Ten Thousand Killing Array. He turned his head and asked, “This Senior-apprentice Brother, could you tell me how points are calculated?”
“Mm? Why are you asking? Just give it your best try and that’s the end.” The man surnamed Zhou impatiently said.
“I just want to know so that I can keep track.”
The man surnamed Zhou looked disgruntled as he said to Lin Ming, “Killing an extreme Houtian will net you 10,000 points, late Houtian will net you 2000 points, and middle Houtian will net you 300 points.”
As Lin Ming spoke, he walked into the Ten Thousand Killing Array.
A white light flashed in front of Lin Ming, and suddenly seven or eight martial artists appeared in front of him. Their cultivation ranged from the middle Houtian realm to the peak Houtian realm.
“These are probably the weakest sort of martial artists, they are about the same strength as when I first participated in the Seven Profound Valleys’ Total Faction Martial Meeting.”
Lin Ming readily extracted a long halberd from the variety of weapons offered around him. The reason he had asked about scoring was because he was afraid that he would kill too many, causing people to pay attention him.
Three or four martial artists rushed at Lin Ming together. Lin Ming swept out his halberd and the three or four martial artists were instantly split in half at the waist, exploding into showers of bloody rain!
This was simply an instant kill!
Afterwards, a peak Houtian martial artist rushed at him. Lin Ming didn’t bother to change his style and swept out with his halberd again; that peak Houtian martial artist was also cut in half!
With Lin Ming’s current strength, facing these low level martial artists was simply a massacre.
Outside of the Ten Thousand Killing Array, the incense was slowly burning away. The man surnamed Zhou crossed his arms across his chest and was playing with his mustache with a thoughtful smile on his face, waiting for Lin Ming’s results.
As the first incense stick burnt out, the second incense stick was lit. Just as the second incense stick was burning, at this moment, a light flashed and Lin Ming left the Ten Thousand Killing Array.
“Mm? So fast?”
The man surnamed Zhou was a bit shocked. He had thought that with Lin Ming’s strength, lasting through two or three sticks of incense definitely wouldn’t have been a problem.
But as he glanced at the score, the man surnamed Zhou smiled. This boy, he had quite the skill.
The other free martial artists didn’t really care about Lin Ming’s score. That is, until the result was announced…
“101,000 points, first class soldier!”
The head of every single martial artist instantly swiveled towards Lin Ming. This fellow was a first class soldier? He was even stronger than that formidable woman?
Most of the people present had already entered the Ten Thousand Killing Array and were fully aware of just how difficult it was to reach 100,000 points.
“Hehe! This boy is good, he’s about the same as me when I was young!” The man surnamed Zhou traced his chin as he spoke, impressed with Lin Ming.
“For a late Houtian realm martial artist to have this strength, he should be about the same as an outer court disciple of a fourth-grade sect.”
“He’ll have a future. That is, if he manages to survive in the South Sea battlefield.
Lin Ming calmly walked down. He had already calculated just what he would need to gather 100,000 points and be ranked as a first class soldier.
The Wartime Alliance used squads as the combat units. War intelligence, which included the location of the enemy, was distributed to the different squads for convenience. In that case, Lin Ming had to join as high level a squad as he could in order to quickly familiarize himself with the battlefield and also gain more important information.
As for the reason that he had been inside the illusory array for a whole incense stick of time, that was entirely intentional on Lin Ming’s part. The truth was that he only needed a dozen or so breaths of time to reach 100,000 points; he could have done so sooner, but the refreshing rate of the Ten Thousand Killing Array was just too slow. As for the remaining time, Lin Ming had loitered within so that he could avoid leaving early and shocking everyone.
As Lin Ming returned to the group, the surrounding free martial artists all looked at him with awe in their eyes. Even that woman looked at Lin Ming for several seconds, and then kept to herself.
After Lin Ming, the rest of the martial artists also measured their strength. The highest remaining score was 45,000 points; they were all third class soldiers.
A third class soldier was the lowest level on the South Sea Demon Region battlefield.
“You two, come with me!” The man surnamed Zhou pointed at Lin Ming and the woman.
The other 18 free martial artists watched as Lin Ming and the woman left together, sighing. Their eyes were a bit sad and also had a hint of envy, the gap between them was simply too great.
“Now I’ll lead you to enter your squad. If you join a strong squad, you’ll be much safer if you meet danger. Of course, there are also times when a strong squad will meet even stronger enemies. As for which one you want, just choose yourself!”
As the man surnamed Zhou spoke, he pushed open the door. Behind the door was actually a noisy and busy tavern.
The entire tavern was built with gray tones. There were colorful true essence stone lamps hanging on the ceiling above. On a stage in the center of the tavern, a young woman with almost nothing on was dancing a hot and sexy dance that Lin Ming had never seen before. Compared to the traditional martial arts of the South Horizon Region, this sort of dance was just wantonly flaunting all of the sexy and private parts of a woman’s body, sparking waves of cries and cheers from the surrounding martial artists.
“Hey, you like what you see?” The man surnamed Zhou nudged Lin Ming, revealing a lascivious smile that all men understood. “This is a dance that comes from the Demon Region, it has quite the style! That Demon Region really does have some good stuff! Haha!”
The man surnamed Zhou lewdly smiled, not noticing the disgusted look in the woman’s eyes next to him.
“Everyone, stop, we have two newbies today. There is a 101,000 point first class soldier, and a 96,000 point second class soldier. If your squad needs one of them, just say it.”
The tavern instantly quieted, even the girl doing her sexy dance stopped mid-step. All of the martial artists that were enjoying the revelry shifted their vision onto Lin Ming and the woman, sizing them up.
It was quite different from what Lin Ming expected; there wasn’t anyone scrambling to pick him up.
‘It seems like a 101,000 point first class soldier isn’t worth much here, or perhaps these top squads don’t really need someone with just 101,000 points.’ Lin Ming kept a composed smile as he thought this.
“Hey, boy, how about joining us?”
After a few breaths of time, a large fellow called out. He held a big pot of wine in his hand, and he was shaking back and forth, much of the wine was spilling out.
As Lin Ming glanced at this big fellow, he saw that his cultivation was at the peak Houtian realm and his true essence was abnormally thick. He was obviously a powerhouse of those within the same level.
“Our little squad has three Xiantian masters and our squad captain is a middle Xiantian realm. Every one is a first class soldier that has been battle hardened already. The rest are at the peak Houtian realm and half-step Xiantian realm. We’re one of the top squads of the Wartime Alliance. If you join our squad, you will have the best chances to gather military exploits. To be honest, if it wasn’t for the fact that we lost some people a few days ago, we wouldn’t normally take a late Houtian martial artist.”
Many veteran squads were reluctant to take in new recruits. A recruit often lacked combat experience and would panic during a life or death situation, throwing everything into chaos. In the end, they would just become a burden to everyone else. On the battlefield where life or death could be decided in a split second, any burden on the squad could result in unimaginable consequences.
In this man’s opinion, Lin Ming was simply too immature. Within his squad, he would be of the lowest level; it was difficult to say just what his future performance would be like.