211 Chapter 211
"How does it look?"
"Think this is going to take a while, didn't expect so many people to show up…"
Two people in United Element sect robes were talking with each other. They were blue with a sort of emblem attached to the shoulder part. This was something that indicated that they were elders and not disciples. There was also the violet color which was above this, it was reserved for core elders and disciples that were even above them in prestige.
One was a large fellow, quite rotund yet muscular. The robe he was wearing had to be custom made to fit around all of that mass. His name was Zhang Hong and he had a moderate amount of fame in the sect from the old days when the Zhang Clan was still going solo.
The other person was a lot more ordinary. His face was plain and his height might have been a bit short. He was also a person that lasted through the old times and his name was Zhang Bao.
The two young men were in one of the guard towers. They were looking down at the space in front of the large gate entrance to the New Spirit Spring City that was considered United Element sect territory. It was the first time the sect would be accepting new disciples into their midst.
Zhang Hong was holding a bag with some pastries and eating while squinting. What he saw was making him worry. Outside the city gates, there were hundreds of thousands, maybe even a million of people. Tents and impromptu made shelters had been set up even a month before the sect trials could take place. The latecomers were continuing to pour in and some of them even camped out in the forest that hadn't been cut down.
Zhang Bao just gave out a sigh. He had managed to gain an elder's position and was even an inner sect elder but this honor came with added responsibilities. Their first task would be to get the prospects through the trials and they had to screen everyone, there were no exceptions.
They weren't the only blue robe elders tending to this. The more potential disciples appeared the more people the sect had to assign. They had to make sure that everything went smoothly. This wasn't the only gate that was letting people come through, there were three others.
"Luckily the seniors designed that device, it will make this process more bearable…"
Bao nodded while looking at the swarm of people that were getting ready to be accepted through their gate.
"Yes, thank god we have the divine artifact department. We'll be able to root out the unfit before they can enter the city."
Hong nodded while munching on some sweets as the two people headed out of the tower, some other people in gray elder robes followed behind them.
After going down they were now at the large gate. It looked more like a medieval castle gate, it also had a draw bridge and iron bars that slammed down shut if they had too. It was also quite thick on the inside, you had to even go through another gate there that acted as a buffer and a checkpoint.
At the middle point there stood a strange looking machine. Similar looking treasure devices were placed at all the other gates. It was cylindrical in shape and there was an entrance from one side. It was connected by some thick wires to a console in a closed section. The people could see someone operating those consoles through a small window that was covered by glass. There were more than one of those devices here and the sect members were performing the last inspection before opening them up.
"Remember the training, move every potential disciple into the scanner artifact. The result will appear on the console and depending on it we will grant them entrance or have them leave. Only the ones chosen by this artifact will be allowed to participate in the rest of the trials."
Zhang Bao delivered his short speech while moving to the side. He and his brother Hong were responsible for this gate, they would need to stay here and make sure that nothing went wrong. They had permission from the elders in higher positions to use force if anyone got out of line. They didn't think that anyone would be stupid enough to do this, but there could be a spy among the people and this device apparently could tell this as well.
"Let them in, everyone form a line towards each divine artifact scanner, the faster we finish the sooner you all can go home!"
The people behind the gate started shouting as the metal bars were lifted up into the air. No one dared to move in quite yet though. They waited for a person in a gray robe and with the united element sect's emblem to go out. He did a short speech explaining what would be happening.
"Please follow the instructions in an orderly fashion. If any fights break out, you will be removed forcefully…"
People just wanted to run through the gate and be done with everything. The people that were at the front had waited for a whole month, just sitting there and meditating. The first person moved forward and was instructed to go into some strange looking artifact. The doors slid open and he found himself in a well-lit space.
'Please place your hand on the measuring orb.'
The man flinched after hearing a woman's voice call out to him. He looked around wondering if someone from outside was calling out to him but before he could ask an orb the size of a bowling ball popped out from some kind of hidden slot. It looked to be made from glass or some kind of crystal. The man didn't react and kept wondering what this was about, the woman's voice repeated the massage again before he finally reached out to touch the sphere.
The moment he touched it a jolt of electricity ran through his body and he felt weak. He wasn't able to move a muscle or utter a word. A ray of light appeared above his head in a horizontal line and it started moving downwards. It moved through his entire body, scanning it and feeding that data to the console outside.
A woman from the sect looked at the console. It showed her various biometric data, height, weight, bone structure, and age. Every small detail was revealed thanks to this machine. The woman looked at the numbers and her eyebrows furrowed slightly. There were a few red indicators that didn't spell anything good for this potential disciple.
"Age 27… Qi Condensation 5th stage… Potential: low… Disposition: Orange…"
She did what she was trained to do and pressed a red button. The large capsule-like device where the man was in opened up. It had a little monitor above it that showed a 'Failed' message all in red.
"What, I failed? T-this is impossible!"
The man trembled in utter shock, he wasn't even able to take any kind of test of might or knowledge. He hadn't heard of any other sects doing things like this one, most of the time there would at least be some practical trials for the potential disciples to take. At most, they only tested your realm before allowing you to take a trial.
One member from the United Element sect stepped out to the man that started shouting and demanding to be let into the artifact again. He thought that he must have failed when he couldn't free himself from the scanner in time.
"You lied about your age, this is enough to disqualify you. Leave, or you will be forcefully removed."
The man from the sect activated his spiritual energy and suppressed the Qi condensation cultivator with his foundation establishment aura. The man that failed the test shrunk back and promptly left, other people looked at him with fear. This sect was using some kind of strange treasure that could even tell your age.
Before the next person could move forward Zhang Hong appeared in front of the gate. He activated his cultivation and shouted out.
"If you are above the age of 25 and still at Qi condensation, don't even bother. If you are discovered, you will be lashed ten times! Don't waste mine and the sects time!"
Some people flinched, the sect already announced the age restriction. But some people that were a year or two above 25 still tried coming here. They didn't think the sect would be that strenuous and if they made it through the tests they would probably forgive them. This was apparently not the case and they would be lashed in front of the crowd. They looked to the crafty looking sect members, they all looked tough and radiated power, getting lashed by them could be deadly.
"Continue with the screening. Next!"
The warning seemed to have worked as some of the people that were standing in the line moved back. Not all of them got discouraged though as after half an hour another person that was past the maximum age popped up. Zhang Hong gave the order and the man was pulled out to the front of the gate. He was lashed ten times, his back was now bruised and bloodied and he was tossed outside. They couldn't stop people from trying to sneak in but they had to be resolute with their rules.
The scanning continued and quite a bit of people were getting sent home. No one knew what the criteria of making it through were. There were a lot of people to go through and even though most of them were denied some made it in.
A beautiful woman walked out of the scanner. Every man in the vicinity craned their necks to get a good look at this beauty. She was quite curvaceous and her choice of clothes made the men gulp. Zhang Bao and Hong couldn't keep their eyes off the female either, besides her beauty there was also something else.
"Foundation establishment… late stage? Potential… high!"
The woman that was reading the scanner looked at the results. The woman here had better stats than a lot of the current sect members. She clearly was suited for an elder's position and not for a disciple and she wasn't even that old.
The woman was given the okay to go through, her shapely hips swayed side to side and you could see a whip-like weapon attached to her hip. There was a small gathering of people that made it through the strange artifact inside the city. Other sect members were greeting these people and showing them the way towards the next area.
This woman wouldn't need to attend that though. People that were of high enough caliber could skip the trials altogether. She only needed to register with the sect and receive her robe. She would then go through a trial period while learning her duties as a senior.
She looked at an emblem that she was given, it had some kind of long number on it which was apparently something that identified her as a member of this sect. She could use this emblem to gather sect merit which she could trade in for various resources and even spirit stones.
"Interesting… He really made it big. Shouldn't have let him escape that time…"
The woman gave out a sigh while mumbling to herself. She had managed to make it inside this sect, her new life was finally starting and she would be making the best of it. Her frowning face changed into a smirk as she tossed the emblem that looked like a small shield up into the air. She caught it right back before placing it on her shoulder just as the other people in the sect did.
"Time to start a new life!"
She was promised her own cultivation residence, she wasn't sure if it would be a cave or a building quite yet. While she left other people were still getting analyzed. The lines moved forward slowly and more people were failing than passing. The testing would continue for multiple days as there were just too many people outside the city. The next part would be the practical trials that would force even more people to prematurely retire.