216 Chapter 216
Cheng Yun and Yang Rong were sprawled out on the hard rocky ground. They were panting, sweat was running down their foreheads and their robes were all ripped up. The continuous panting was only drowned out by the sound of the teleportation gates. The artifacts were active and produced a sort of humming noise.
The two youths weren't the only ones here. The tired bodies of other disciple candidates were similarly unmoving on the cold ground. The test had finally ended and now the only thing that was left was to count the merit points. Most of the people knew if they had already passed or not as there was a certain scanning device that would show you the number you had. The contestant just needed to go over to it and have it scan their emblem to show the number of merits.
The two weren't quite sure, they were ejected from the last trial they were taking. They were frantically trying to pass and didn't use the scanner to tell how many merit points they had. The two had to settle on the combat and physical trials. There were various other ways of passing even with no fighting ability whatsoever.
There were trials where you could show your knowledge about formations. There were even ones that required you to read and write as that was a skill that wasn't that common in this world. The sect wasn't only looking for powerful fighters, they also needed intelligent prospects that were good at management. Strength with no reason behind it wasn't something this sect wanted.
A large gong sounded which indicated the end of the sect trials. The gates started to forcefully eject the participants that were still on the inside. Those areas where the tests were being held were specially built with an ejection feature. This was mostly for safety reasons as the people inside would be brought outside if their life signals dropped too low. If such a thing happened the contestants would be taken away into one of the clinics for a checkup. Matt didn't really want people to be dying when trying out for his sect.
After a long week of trials and tribulations, the potential disciples that had passed would finally become part of the sect. They would not become true disciples though, they would first have to go through a trial period in the sect academy. They would be given the title of trial disciples and could always fail during the years the school was active. They could at most be held back by a year there, if they didn't manage to progress they would be kicked out.
Zhang Liu came out once more on his flying sword. The sect could remotely tell who had passed and who had failed. The last thing that these youths had to do was just walk through another gate.
"Congratulations brothers and sisters, you have shown us the determination and worth of a United Element sect member! Now, anyone with at least a 100 merit points is allowed to walk through this door."
Zhang Liu pointed to another gate, it was similar to the first jade one but looked slightly bigger.
"The sect emblems that you have been given will allow you to access some parts of the sect. If you have enough then follow me inside, if you don't then please leave the sect premises."
Zhang Liu performed another short speech before moving before the last gate and demonstrating how everything worked. He just stood in front of the gate and a similar scanner like ray hit the emblem on his shoulder. The gate then slid open, it was apparently a giant jade sliding door and would open each time someone from the sect stepped forward.
After Zhang Liu vanished inside the tired people started walking up slowly. The first person that stepped forward was a handsome young man. His robe looked tidy and neat if you compared it to the ones the two youths were wearing from the Tatar tribe. The moment he arrived the gate slid open and he just walked in without stopping.
This handsome young man was the person with the highest number of merit points from this batch. He was soon followed by a ravishing beauty, the woman caught every man's eye as she also headed inside. She was second on the merit list and was followed by a large burly youth with a bare chest that finished at the third spot. The others just looked on flabbergasted by the looks of these people, everyone could tell that their cultivation was quite high for their age.
"Everyone please line up in an orderly fashion."
A person from the sect finally walked up and started organizing everything. The youths had stopped before the last hurdle and not everyone was willing to step forward. Everything moved slowly and some of the trial takers weren't allowed in as the door remained shut before them. They were excused to the side with a pat on the back, maybe they could try again in a couple of years if they weren't too old.
Cheng Yun and Yang Rong were the only two people to successfully make it through the door from the Tatar tribe. To their dismay the other clan they were feuding with had three people make it over to the other side. The only good part about this was that it was forbidden for sect disciples to fight with each other outside the sect.
It took some time for everyone to get past that gate, the logistics of moving all of these people inside and outside the sect were tremendous. The way they performed the trials might have to be evaluated in the future as most of it was just people waiting in lines.
On the other side the new trial disciples were greeted with quite the sight. There were various massive buildings standing everywhere but the most eye-catching was the giant castle right in the middle and then a smaller one floating right above it, radiating power. Before anything could happen further Zhang Dong had to do his speech.
The youths that had gone through the week-long trials were all tired so he wanted to do this fast. He was looking at the statistics, close to fifty thousand people had made it through the trials. This might have sounded like a large number but there were over a million candidates at the start. Huge sects tended to have millions of members spread throughout the lands that they owned, so when they added fifty thousand they still were much smaller than the other superpowers.
Those fifty thousand were all now in the square while being surrounded by some official sect members. Before they could ask what was happening everyone felt a massive spike in spiritual energy in the area. The Qi in the air started vibrating as if something big was coming. Everyone here started getting goosebumps before they looked into the air and there they finally saw him.
Zhang Dong was floating in the air and looking down at them. He was wearing a long gold and violet ceremonial robe. His sleeves were long and they along with the bottom of his robe gently floated in the wind. Not everyone recognized this man as the sect leader but some noticed that he had a striking resemblance to the statue that was in the city.
"Greeting to my United Element's Sect, you have managed to take your first step towards greatness. Keep this in mind though, this isn't the end of your struggles, it's just the beginning."
The man smirked a bit after completing that sentence, the potential disciples flinched as they didn't like the sound of that. Most of them barely scraped by to get those merit points and supposedly this wasn't the end.
"For now rest, you did well."
Something strange happened as the floating person reached out forward with his hand. The space around became distorted and he started shining. The whole square where the young cultivators were standing in became bathed in rays of golden light. They were surprised, what was this powerful master doing? Soon they realized as the fatigue and wounds that they had suffered during the trials faded away.
Somehow this elder used his power to heal so many of them at once. For a powerful nascent soul cultivator restoring Qi to lower Qi condensation cultivators wasn't that difficult. Still, there were fifty thousand people here so he had to get the aid of the sect formations in the area to boost his power.
��You three did well !"
Zhang Dong waved his hand and three disciples that were the top of this class floated up. It was the handsome youths along with the icy beauty and the macho. The three that looked composed earlier were amazed by the display of power. They were all young masters from their own clans but they could do nothing about this powerful senior.
They found themselves up in the air about two hundred meters above everyone else. The white-haired man was directly in front of them. They all dropped their heads down as they bowed, directly looking into a powerful master's eyes was considered rood.
"Raise your heads, you did well young ones."
"Fang Shu, 546 merit points you did well."
The handsome youth with long black hair moved his head up. He saw the white-haired master wave his hand around and some kind of necklace appeared around his neck. It was golden and had the characters for the sect's name on it.
"Take this small gift, it will protect you from harm in the future."
He noticed instantly that what he got was a mortal treasure of the highest quality. He dropped his head down and clasped his hands while thanking.
"Fang Shu thanks the honorable master for this gift."
Zhang Dong just nodded and looked to the other two. The girl and muscular man had anticipation in their eyes after seeing what the person next to them got.
"Zhao Zhiruo 498 points…"
"Wen Xiufeng, 486 points…"
The two received silver pendants instead of a golden one that were of slightly lesser quality than what Fang Shu got. Matt at first wanted to make a bronze one but then decided to have two silver medals and a golden one instead. He gave the trio a little pep talk before sending them back to the ground. He started concluding everything, his speech was coming to an end.
"Follow the instructions of the elders, you will be guided to your new homes. Study hard young ones, show me that you are worthy of the resources the sect provides. If you are diligent our paths may intertwine again. For now, farewell my disciples. Live long, prosper, and may the Qi be with you."
Zhang Dong finished up with his speech while the young disciples kept their eyes on him. Some were even unwilling to blink, this was the first time they laid their eyes on someone as mighty as this master. Everyone interpreted his words differently but a lot felt that the intertwining part meant that he might accept them as disciples if they proved themselves.
This gave everyone here another boost in confidence. They knew how ferocious this sect leader was, he even managed to go against five nascent soul cultivators at once and came out on top. The United Element sect members were sure to brag about their 'Lightning Emperor' whenever they had the chance.
Zhang Dong vanished from the spot he was standing and his aura that was giving everyone here goosebumps was also gone. The Qi condensation cultivators weren't able to follow his movements at all as he just sped away back to his home. His pregnant wife was waiting for him and he left the busywork to his sect members. In times like these, they were the ones to shine.
He picked up the pace and even a sonic boom was heard in the distance as he left a couple of after images. His part in all of this had ended for the moment. He was still listed as the new school's special teacher. If the students gathered enough points they could even receive some pointers from him. The number required was quite staggering though. The leftover youths were left waiting but soon their new life as trial disciples was going to start, a bright future ahead of them.