Chapter 29: Inner Sect Training
Yin Tianlong’s face fell as he looked at the character ‘eight’ on the jade slip in front of him. Hands behind his back, he used his Wind Walking technique to float up onto the platform.
The moment his feet touched down, Wang Tengfei lifted his right foot, and suddenly the entire platform began to vibrate with a loud hum, as if some sort of blast was accumulating from all corners. Wang Tengfei didn’t move, but the massive invisible force shot toward Yin Tianlong.
When he saw this, Yin Tianlong’s face changed. Wang Tengfei had not even moved, yet the massive pressure bearing down on Yin Tianlong was already making it difficult for him to circulate his spiritual energy.
“I admit defeat…” he said immediately and without hesitation. Apparently, he didn’t want to hear any comments about his decision. Saluting deeply with cupped hands, he leaped off the platform and left the square.
Grand Elder Ouyang remained expressionless. Slowly, he spoke again: “Wang Tengfei is victorious. Second match: numbers two and seven.”
As soon as the words were out of his mouth, Fatty looked at the character ‘two’ written on his jade slip and began to tremble. At the same time, the scar-faced Cultivator of the fifth level of Qi Condensation glared coldly at him, then stepped onto the platform.
“Just walk up and then admit defeat,” Meng Hao said to him in a low voice, pushing him forward. Fatty’s ball-like body flew up onto the platform.
As soon as he landed, he immediately said: “Admit defeat…” He dared not speak three words, only two, and yet the scar-faced Cultivator’s eyes flickered with murderous intent. Before Fatty could finish speaking, he lifted up his hand. A flying sword shot screaming toward Fatty at incredible speed. By the time Fatty said ‘admit,’ it was two meters from his throat.
By the time it was obvious what was happening, it was too late. Meng Hao’s face changed and he shot to his feet. At the same time, Grand Elder Ouyang flicked an object out with his fingers. Right before the flying sword penetrated Fatty’s throat, a ringing sound could be heard and the sword flew away. Fatty was left with a small nick on his neck.
Fatty took a step back, his face pale. Then he jumped down and returned to Meng Hao, so scared that his legs were like rubber. He had never before experienced the closeness of death in such a way.
Meng Hao looked at the line of blood on Fatty’s neck, and a murderous look appeared in his eyes. His opponent had attacked with extreme ruthlessness and an obvious desire to kill. Were Meng Hao his opponent that would have been fine, but Fatty’s Cultivation base was too low. To attack him in such a way was going too far.
Looking around, Meng Hao caught sight of Shangguan Xiu standing in the distance, his grim face filled with murder. Flames of fury burst out in Meng Hao’s heart. He had never done anything to offend Master Uncle Shangguan; Master Uncle Shangguan was the aggressor, the one who attacked with deadly force.
In all his years in the Reliance Sect, Meng Hao had never revealed an intense desire to kill. But now, his eyes shone with clear killing intent.
What had just happened was so obviously fishy that even the surrounding Cultivators could tell. One after another, they began to look at Meng Hao. Discussions broke out.
“Next match, numbers three and six,” said Grand Elder Ouyang with a frown.
Han Zong stood, the number three jade slip in his hand. As he walked past Meng Hao, he whispered, “You offended Master Uncle Shangguan. You won’t be the only one to die today. Your friend will die too.” You could say that other than a Grand Elder, Shangguan Xiu was the most powerful and influential member of the Sect.
Because of the decline of the Reliance Sect, its numbers were few. The chaos of the Sect rules, and mutual slaughter among the Outer Sect disciples, all of this, was because the Reliance Sect was at the end of an era, and just wasn’t like it used to be.
There were fewer medicinal pills, so how could they be distributed fairly… There were not many Spirit Condensation Pills, so of course they became objects of deadly struggle between the disciples who wished to consume them.
So, let there be chaos. Every man for himself. Whether it be members of the first level of Qi Condensation or the fifth, let chaos rule, and death. There was no fairness here; life and death were determined by destiny. There were no sermons, no one giving instruction on how to practice cultivation. There was only the Qi Condensation manual. Whether you were a worm or a dragon, you could only rely on your luck. If you succeeded, you lived. If you failed, you died. If you were tough, you survived. If you were weak, you didn’t.
Whoever could kill their way to the end of the path would become an Inner Sect disciple, and then be a true member of the Reliance Sect and Elder Ouyang’s true student.
In the past, Sect Leader He Luohua had been focused on making the Sect more powerful. But weighed down by the pressures of reality, he had completely exhausted himself, and had long since hidden away in seclusion. Grand Elder Ouyang had a soft personality, and as far as his Cultivation went, he was in his later years of longevity, with not much time left. Therefore, he didn’t have much energy to spend time on the Sect.
Among the Inner Sect disciples, Elder Sister Xu was usually in secluded meditation. With her cold personality, she didn’t pay much attention to Sect affairs. Elder Brother Chen was primarily focused on the Dao, and didn’t participate in Sect matters. Circumstances as such, only Shangguan Xiu remained.
His Cultivation base was at the ninth level of Qi Condensation, and he was over ninety years of age. He had served the Sect well, and could not help but become the Master Uncle to the disciples of the Sect. But the Sect was in decline. Were this some other Sect, considering he was still in the Qi Condensation stage, he would never be called Master Uncle.
Meng Hao watched Han Zong as he flashed up onto the platform. His opponent was Zhou Kai, and it seemed this would be no life and death battle. Zhou Kai immediately admitted defeat, and the match was over.
The last match of the first round had arrived. Meng Hao stood and flew up onto the platform. His opponent was the tall, strong man who had a Qi Condensation of the fifth level. His aura radiated murder, and from the look of him, he had experienced many bloody battles.
He looked at Meng Hao and growled, running straight toward him, his body expanding. He raised his hand, and instantly, a shining battle-ax appeared. This was clearly no ordinary object.
His face dark, Meng Hao slapped his bag of holding. A swift, sharp flying sword appeared and shot forward. But by the time it was about two meters away from the big man, a soft shield appeared, blocking the flying sword.
“You’re gonna die today!” said the big man with a hideous grin. Before coming to the training, Shangguan Xiu had given him a magical item. Even if Meng Hao’s Cultivation base was a bit higher than his, he didn’t have anything to worry about.
“Boom,” said Meng Hao coolly, his facial expression the same as ever. The flying sword exploded with a bang, sending the big man flying backwards. The shield in front of him flickered, preventing him from being injured.
Laughing, he charged again. But Meng Hao was faster. He dashed forward, slapping his bag of holding. Two flying swords appeared, shot forward and then exploded. The blast reverberated, and the shield bent. The big man’s face changed, and before he could even react, four more flying sword shot forth. A massive explosion rang out, and the shield was ripped to pieces. The attack stabbed through, directly into the big man’s chest. He let out a miserable cry and spat out a mouthful of blood.
Before his body could hit the ground, another flying sword shot forth from Meng Hao, glittering as it stabbed into the man’s throat. He fell twitching to the ground in a pool of blood, dead.
Since entering the Sect, Meng Hao had not killed very many people. But this time he had slain the man with vicious ruthlessness. He floated down from the platform, giving Han Zong a cold glance.
“Next, you die,” he said, sitting down cross-legged and closing his eyes.
Han Zong’s pupils constricted and his killing intent grew stronger.
A buzz of discussion rose from the surrounding Cultivators as they recovered from watching the scene. They had been shaken by its bloodiness.
“Meng Hao is victorious. The first match of round two is Wang Tengfei and Xu Ge.” Grand Elder Ouyang’s voice was cool, as if he hadn’t even noticed the reek of blood in the air.
Xu Ge was the Cultivator who had tried to kill Fatty moments ago. As soon as he stepped foot on the platform, he admitted defeat. Giving Wang Tengfei a respectful salute, he turned and left the square as quickly as possible.
At this point, everyone could see that be it Han Zong or the four Cultivators of the fifth level, their goal was not to be promoted, but rather to kill Meng Hao.
“Match two, Meng Hao and Han Zong.” Grand Elder Ouyang looked intently at Meng Hao, and as soon as he finished speaking, silence prevailed. Everyone stared at Meng Hao and Han Zong.
Meng Hao looked as somber as ever as he stepped onto the platform. Han Zong arrived at almost exactly the same time. No introductory remarks were necessary. They both attacked at the same time.
A thunderous sound rang out as three flying swords appeared, circling around Meng Hao. A shield appeared, revolving around Han Zong, and in front of him appeared a glowing, five-colored banner. It instantly swept toward Meng Hao.
Meng Hao said nothing. As the five-colored banner approached, he didn’t retreat. He lifted his left hand, and instantly, a fifteen-meter long Flame Serpent appeared. It roared and flew forward. The Flame Serpent didn’t appear to be just a snake, but more like a python. Blistering heat radiated out from it as it flew.
At the same time, Meng Hao’s right hand slapped his bag of holding; six flying swords appeared and shot forward.
Han Zong laughed coldly, his eyes shining with murderous intent. He took a step forward, then slapped his left hand onto the ground. When he stood, a deep rumble could be heard, and the entire platform began to shake. In front of him suddenly appeared a Stone Golem, approximately three meters tall. With a roar, the Stone Golem charged forward at incredible speed. When it slammed into the Flame Serpent, a massive explosion thundered across the platform.
Amidst the roar, the five-colored banner shot forward, approaching Meng Hao’s flying swords. Han Zong’s eyes glittered brightly.
“Five Radiances Art!”
As soon as the words were out of Han Zong’s mouth, the five-colored banner suddenly shook, and then began to shine brightly in all directions. A two-colored stream of mist shot out from it, transforming into two Spirit creatures, who charged toward Meng Hao with shrill screams. The second of the two Mist Spirits was only partly visible; obviously because of his Cultivation base level, Han Zong was limited in his ability to use this art.
As soon as the two-colored Mist Spirits appeared, the surrounding Cultivators cried out in astonishment.
“That’s Master Uncle Shangguan’s consummate Five Radiances Art! They say it’s one of the most powerful arts for Sect members who haven’t Perfected their Foundations. Brother Han Zong can only summon two of the colors!”
“So Han Zong can use this art! Yeah, it must be because of that banner. Could it be a magic item provided by Master Uncle Shangguan?”
Emitting shrill, ear-piercing cries, the two-colored Mist Spirits shot toward Meng Hao with irresistible force. The moment his six flying swords touched them, the swords shattered into pieces.