The Nine Cauldrons

Book 3 Chapter 3 First Rated Warrior 

“So strong!”

“This Zhu Da, a sergeant position among the Black Armored Army will surely be his.”

The numerous warriors in the surroundings shouted out in surprise, since he was the first person who’d dared to challenge the ten thousand Jin boulder at the entrance examination, and had almost succeeded. The ten thousand Jin bolder was bigger than a person by several times, and many people would lose their courage just by seeing it.

“Martial brother! Please give me the Second Rated Warrior plate!”

The person recording, the Gui Yuan Sect disciple, took a black plate from his martial brother’s hand. This plate had only one word “Two” written on the front.

That Gui Yuan Sect disciple wrote the two words “Zhu Da” on the back of the plate and simultaneously laughed, before throwing it to Zhu Da, “Brother Zhu Da, you almost reached the strength of a First Rated Warrior. Although there’s no way to compete to become a centurion, you still have the full potential to become a sergeant of the Black Armored Army.”

“Humph, this morning I ate a dozen steamed stuffed buns and my belly got bigger.” This fat man picked up his large metal hammer, took the plate, and went over to the side.

“Qingshan, when I compete for the sergeant position inside the Black Armored Army, and run into this fat person, I will immediately throw in the towel. I can’t even take a casual swing of that guy’s hammer. Teng Qinghu told Teng Qingshan who was next to him, “by the way, Qingshan, when are we going to the entrance examination to lift the boulder?”

“I’m not in hurry, you decide. If you want to take the exam then go.” Teng Qingshan stood in the crowd and watched one entrance examination after another being carried out.

In the blink of an eye, an hour had passed.

A lean youth wrapped in animal skin took big strides and entered the central open area, while moving straight toward the 2000 Jin boulder. Stretching his arms, he clamped down on the black boulder with his steel like forearms, and firmly grabbed the bottom of the stone. On that black boulder was very conspicuously written ‘2000 Jin’ in a white color. “Ho~” With a loud shout, that lean youth’s body shook slightly, and that black boulder was lifted with a loud noise.

“Very good!”

“What a strong man.”

Immediately, applause could be heard in the surroundings, and this youth wearing animal skin threw that black boulder to the side with a smile.

“Do you want to try lifting the ten thousand Jin boulder?” The Gui Yuan Sect disciples responsible for recording asked while smiling.

“No need.”This youth shook his head.

“Name and age.” The Gui Yuan Sect took a Second Rated warrior plate from next to him.

“Fu Junfan! 16!” This youth opened his mouth.

“16 years old?”

” 16 years old and already a Second Rated Warrior? This young man has boundless prospects.”

“Where did this kid come from, he’s so strong!”

The group of warriors in the surrounding were all shocked. The people joining the Black Armored Army were mostly over 20 years old. Normally, the people with high strength were all quite old. Teng Qingshan was also surprised, and looked towards the youth Fun Junfan, “16 years old? Isn’t that even younger than me?”

There were still some days left until the Yearly Ceremony, and afterwards, Teng Qinghan would be 17 years old.

“Fu Junfan!” The guy truly responsible for the entrance examinations was a stout middle-aged person, wearing a grey gown. He’d been looking on silently while the entrance examination was being conducted, and the 16 years old Fu Junfan had provoked him to look in surprise.

“This Fu Junfan is currently the third Second Rated Warrior! There are no First Rated Warriors yet. Brother, this time, there aren’t many experts joining the Black Armored Army.”

“It’s only been one hour. There’s no rush, as the experts still haven’t come out yet.” An indifferent voice transmitted not far from Teng Qingshan.
Teng Qingshan shot a glance towards the one talking, and realized he had two scars on his face and a lean build. He shouldered a giant double-edged long dong, and looked indifferent. When Teng Qingshan saw this person, he couldn’t help but remember him in his mind, “It’s him!” During the breakfast that morning, Teng Qingshan had come across this lean man in the inn, and remembered that he was with seven others.

“Listening to them speak, this man with blade scars should be an extremely powerful warrior.” Teng Qingshan made this judgement in his heart.

The entrance examination was orderly conducted, and as time passed, more and more people came to watch.

“Haha, let me through!” With a loud shout, Teng Qinghu entered the central open area with vigorous and mighty strides.

Teng Qingshan’s eyes lit up.

“For Qinghu, lifting 2000 Jin shouldn’t be any problems.” Teng Qingshan knew very clearly, even without using inner strength, that Teng Qinghu could lift a 2000 Jin boulder with just his brute force after practicing Tiger Fist. If he added in his inner strength, he could lift up to 3,000 or 4,000 Jin.

Without putting down his bag, Teng Qinghu directly used both hands to grasp the 2000 Jin bolder.

“Rise!” He loudly shouted.

With one breath, this extremely heavy 2000 Jin boulder was lifted up high. Blue veins could be seen on Teng Qinghu’s strong arms, forming a tight knot. Letting his hands casually go, “Bang!” This 2000 Jin heavy boulder fell onto the ground.

“Haha… you don’t need to ask me to lift that 10,000 Jin boulder, since I still can’t lift it.” Teng Qinghu laughed frankly, and said very straightforwardly. This frank temper stirred up a good mood from the surrounding warriors, and laughter could be heard. Competent men with a straightforward temper were all people that were well liked.

That Gui Yuan disciple also smiled and asked, “Your name and age.”

Teng Qinghu! This year I am 22, and after the Yearly Ceremony, I will be 23!”Teng Qinghu replied.

“Everybody will be older by one year after the Yearly Ceremony, there’s no need to mention it,” that Gui Yuan disciple said with a smile, and wrote down Teng Qinghu’s name on the plate.

After receiving the Second Rated Warrior plate, Teng Qinghu turned around and walked back to Teng Qingshan’s side, “Qingshan, check out this plate. There’s nothing special about it, and it’s only a pitch black plate with words written with a white brush.” Just when Teng Qingshan looked at the plate, suddenly a familiar voice could be heard, “Make way!”

Turning his head, Teng Qingshan saw that man with the knife scars on his face push two warriors away, and head towards the central open area.

“Who is pushing -” one of the two warriors who was being pushed suddenly got angry, and cursed with his mouth. However, after seeing the opposite party’s giant saber on his shoulder, he immediately shut up and didn’t dare to say a word again. This scarred-faced man’s saber was at least six Chi long (one and a half meters long), and an average person would never be able to use such a giant weapon.

That man with the knife scars on his face arrived at the central open area, and immediately walked towards his goal – the 10,000 Jin boulder!
Until now, there hadn’t been anyone who could completely lift up a 10,000 Jin boulder.

“Can he lift 10,000 Jin?”

“It looks like this person has a ruthless aura.” The surrounding people whispered between them, but each one of them stared at that scarred man.

That man with the knife scars on his face didn’t even take off his saber, and directly put both of his hands on the 10,000 Jin boulder.

Humph!” With a sudden angry shout, on the scarred man’s face suddenly there appeared a blue glow, and that 10,000 Jin black rock was instantly lifted. That scarred man’s arms were bulging with blue veins, and with a fling it was thrown in the ground. With a loud bang, this 10000 Jin boulder fell on the ground, and split in halves.

The middle-aged man sitting behind the other Gui Yuan Sect disciples couldn’t help but stand up and laugh while saying, “Good, a First Rated Warrior! Today, you’re the first First Rated Warrior of the entrance examination! This brother, what’s your name and age!”

“Gong Yangqing! 36!”The knife scarred man replied coldly.

“Gong Yangqing? Gong Yangqing from Xuyang County? That Gong Yangqing who extinguished 300 mounted bandits in one night?” The surrounding warriors were all immediately shocked.

“Xuyang County, the Great Master of Ramhorn Mountain Gang? Why did he come here?”

“Gong Yangqing, doesn’t he have seven sworn brothers? If he came, then his brothers are probably here as well.”

Such a famous expert piqued everybody’s interest.

Under the heaven of the Nine Prefectures, Yangzhou had 13 counties, and Qing Hu Island controlled nine of them. One county was controlled by Gui Yuan Sect, Tie Yi Hall controlled one, and the other two counties were under the influence of many sects. Comparatively speaking, the people’s living conditions in these two countries could be called miserable beyond description.

As for people of the Jiangning Country, they could be counted as very fortunate.

Xuyang County was one of the two counties influences by many sects.

“The formidable Great Master of Ramhorn Mountain Gang…. why did he come to our Jiangning County to join the Black Armored Army?” Some warriors were discussing in a low voice.

Qinghu continually watched that scarred man, and after listening to the surrounding people discussing, he said excitedly in a low voice, “Qingshan, this Gong Yangqing is a powerful figure and was once a Great Master of a big gang inside Xuyang County. During the competition for the Black Armored Army centurion position, you need to be careful against him.”

Teng Qingshan smiled. Except for that one fight against the flood dragon, he’d never really exposed his true strength. Even Qinghu didn’t really know to what extent it was.

“Centurion ……” Teng Qingshan smiled and watched as the other people continued carrying out the entrance examination. In his heart, this so-called centurion position was already taken by Teng Qingshan.

In an instant, four hours more had passed.

“Everybody!” The middle-aged man wearing the gray gown of the Gui Yuan Sect stood up and announced, “The morning entrance examination ends at noon. Now that it’s almost afternoon, we will have our lunch soon. There’s still a bit of time until lunch time, and those who want to test should hurry up or wait until after lunch time to continue!”

Teng Qingshan turned his head and look at the giant stone with the words “sundial” written on it in the distance.

The sundial was a simple tool to tell time, and the manufacturing process wasn’t very complicated.

“Until now, there were 21 Second Rated Warrior, and one First Rated Warrior, Gong Yangqing.” Teng Qingshan remembered everything clearly. The ones who were brought to his attention were the 16 year-old Fu Junfan, as well as Gong Yangqing with his seven brothers.

Gong Yangqing was a First Rated Warrior, and his seven brothers were all Second Rated Warriors. It couldn’t be ruled out that his seven brothers were hiding their strength.

“Qingshan, when will you carry out the entrance examination — in the afternoon?” Teng Qinghu inquired.

“If I do the entrance examination during the afternoon, wouldn’t I have to pay for lunch myself?”

Teng Qingshan teased with a smile and walked to the central open area.

“Spending money for lunch?” After listening, Teng Qinghu felt a bit surprised.
One of the rules of the Gui Yuan Sect was that everyone who passed the entrance examination would have their meals provided to them for free. If Teng Qingshan didn’t carry out the entrance examination, he would have to buy his own lunch.

“This youth walked toward the 10,000 Jin boulder!”

“Don’t tell me he wants to lift the 10000 Jin boulder!”

Seeing Teng Qingshan walking in that direction, the surrounding people quickly quieted down and stared at him. Even Gong Yangqing and his seven brothers were also looking over.

With both hands, he firmly held this 10000 Jin boulder.

“Rise!” Teng Qingshan issued a shout.


The 10,000 Jin boulder was lifted high above his head without the slightest difficulty. Afterward, Teng Qingshan flung it down to the ground.

“Haha, it’s a First Rated Warrior! As for this morning, the second First Rated warrior has appeared.” The middle-aged person wearing the grey gown smiled, and said with a clear and resonant voice, “May I ask this brother’s name and age?” The surroundings warriors burst out in a chaotic chatter and discussed where this youth could come from.

“Teng Qingshan!”

Teng Qingshan opened his mouth with a smile, “Sixteen!”

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