During the stalemate, someone suddenly said, “We don't need to be assessed because we’ve already proven our capabilities.”
When Jing Yue turned around, he saw a group of people heading this way. An Wenxing, whom he met yesterday, was also among them, so this must be Mauve Aurora Sect.
An older man said, “If you don’t believe it, Mauve Aurora Sect can demonstrate.”
After that, he nodded to a disciple beside him. There was a red spot on the left side of that person’s face, which looked very conspicuous. At this moment, he replied, “Yes, Elder Wei.”
Jing Yue scanned with his divine consciousness and found that the disciple was at the low-level of Foundation Establishment stage, yet his bone age was only in the thirties, which proved his outstanding talents.
The members of Mauve Aurora Sect looked at the red-spotted man in reverence, while Elder Wei also stroked his beard triumphantly, but the golden core zhenren from Nine Heaven Academy said, “This is the assessment area, not the place for you to show off. There is no unfairness in the selection process of the academy. Why do we need others to prove it?”
Many people in Frostcloud Sect could not help their laughter while everyone from Mauve Aurora Sect looked embarrassed.
Fortunately, another more senior golden core zhenren walked over. His temperament was more tactful and helped the Mauve Aurora Sect out by saying, “It’s not appropriate to continue like this. Since the Daoist from Mauve Aurora Sect is willing to give it a try, let’s test their comprehension, and also prevent others from expressing their dissatisfaction.”
The first zhenren frowned and chose to compromise. “Well, after getting a plaque, you may go to the corner to comprehend it. Don’t affect other people’s assessment.”
Elder Wei's expression was very unpleasant and the man with red-spot was flushed red, even the mark was not so obvious anymore.
That was understandable. He was being singled out to show off but failed miserably, and now, he had to take on the challenge and could not fail. Anyone would be frustrated.
Moreover, the first zhenren who gave Mauve Aurora Sect a dressing down acted as if nothing had happened and said lightly, “Next.”
At that time, Jing Yue clearly saw that the blue veins on Elder Wei's forehead twitching several times.
He snickered in his heart, but his face was calm. “Well, let’s go.”
Unexpectedly, he was stopped by Elder Wei. “The cultivator just now clearly looks down upon you. Is Frostcloud Sect not doing anything about it?”
Elder Wang stepped forward. “Daoist Wei, you’re such a straightforward person. I admire it! But well, our Frostcloud Sect has been passed down for thousands of years and is the top cultivation school. Too many people are not convinced. Where do we find time to be so… calculative?”
He paused deliberately, glanced at Mauve Aurora Sect with an intriguing expression, and said with a smile, “But so what if people are unconvinced? Can they do anything about it? If we take a junior’s words so seriously, it’d only reflect narrow-mindedness.”
Elder Wang’s subtle insinuations almost made Elder Wei pass out in anger!
How dare Frostcloud Sect say they were not narrow-minded? During the last martial arts conference, a junior who accidentally mentioned the child patriarch was beaten into a pulp by the disciples, and this matter didn’t escape Elder Wei’s attention.
However, Elder Wei couldn’t say it directly, so he could only wallow in silence and forced a laugh. “Hehe, you may be right. Of course we won’t take it to heart, but that person is Chao Yu’s beloved disciple. He has good talents, so I want to take this opportunity to test him too.”
Elder Wang, “Oh.”
Elder Wei, “…”
Elder Wang, “We’ll be leaving then.”
“…” If you leave, who would I show off for?!
Elder Wei resisted the desire to yell and stopped them again. “Why don’t we watch together?”
Elder Wang, “I think…”
“Okay, let’s take a look.” Jing Yue suddenly said.
Elder Wei was stunned. How dare this person interrupt the elder of the sect? Seeing that he was born with a strong aura, consistent with the rumors of the outside world, he naturally guessed the identity of Jing Yue, but he pretended not to recognize him and turned his gaze away.
Elder Wang was very angry, but Jing Yue was just a patriarch of Frostcloud Sect. Outsiders who call him Laozu were just giving face to Frostcloud Sect, but it doesn't mean that everyone must treat him respectfully. Besides, Laozu didn’t reveal his identity, so if Elder Wei insisted on playing dumb, who could say anything?
For a while, everyone just waited quietly.
After some time, the red-spotted man’s plaque suddenly lit up and he sighed in relief. He handed the plaque to the unsmiling zhenren and stood calmly aside.
Seeing his reaction, Elder Wei guessed that he had a good comprehension of the technique, so he smiled with satisfaction.
The zhenren was seen to tweak his fingers into a hand seal before placing the plaque in an inkstone filled with clear water. The plaque gradually sank into it and disappeared in a blink of an eye.
Jing Yue, “Is that a teleportation array?”
Elder Wang, “Yes. It is said that all the plaques will be sent back to the academy, and the zhenren in the academy will evaluate the grades, and then send the results back.”
Jing Yue, “What a good method. If a cultivator comprehended a new technique, doesn’t it belong to Nine Heaven Academy then?”
He thought for a while and then laughed. “Fortunately, what Qin-zhenjun comprehended is only the rudimentary form of Daoyi Sword Technique. Otherwise, Sword Inscription Sect would come after them for sure.”
Soon, a plaque appeared on the inkstone. The zhenren took it out and looked at it, and a ripple appeared on his stoic face, but his tone was still flat when he announced, “Xuan-grade cultivation technique. Excellent aptitude.”
There was a moment of silence before the crowd exploded.
After all, it was a rare occurrence in the past decades for someone to comprehend a Xuan-grade technique. Even the cultivator who caused the scene just now couldn’t find fault with it and ran away with his tail tucked between the legs.
Mauve Aurora Sect was very agitated and swept away the shadows from before.
Frostcloud Sect remained motionless. Only Jing Yue smiled and applauded. “Well, not bad.”
However, Elder Wei suddenly raised his voice. “I heard that your new patriarch also came to the Nine Heaven Academy this time. May I ask who it is?”
No one in Frostcloud Sect answered, and Elder Wang just shot him a look of undisguised contempt.
Elder Wei's face was hot. He knew he was acting ostentatiously, but he could only bite the bullet. “I heard that the Laozu has reached the Foundation Establishment stage in less than twenty years. The high level of talent is unheard of, truly rare in the world. Maybe Laozu can comprehend a heavenly technique like Qin-zhenjun. I wonder if we are lucky enough to see it.”
“Insolence!” Elder Wang said angrily. “Is my Laozu someone you can comment on casually?”
How could he not understand Elder Wei's sinister intentions? If Laozu couldn’t comprehend a heavenly technique, Mauve Aurora Sect would definitely spread the word that the patriarch of Frostcloud Sect was inferior to Qin Yanzhi. By then, his previous praises would become a joke.
But how could a heavenly technique be comprehended so easily? For thousands of years, Qin Yanzhi remained the only one in Nine Heaven Academy!
Seeing the commotion here, the zhenren wanted to step in again, but he was stopped by the tactful colleague.
“This is a conflict between Frostcloud Sect and Mauve Aurora Sect. We’re just rotational disciples in Nine Heaven Academy, so let’s not get involved in the troubled waters.”
The stern-faced zhenren sighed and reluctantly acquiesced.
Jing Yue took everything into his eyes. Of course, he also understood that Elder Wei's intentions were impure. But so what if he couldn’t surpass Qin Yanzhi? He cultivated his Dao and never compared it with others. However, he heard that Qin Yanzhi realized the Daoyi sword technique here, so he was also very curious about what he could find.
“Jing-jing, don’t be afraid! Face it head-on and make them fall at your feet!” Blue phoenix turned around excitedly. It received the familiar face-slapping notification again.
Jing Yue was silent for a moment before saying, “Thank you for your confidence. If the academy allows it, of course I’d like to give it a try. After all, the opportunity is rare. But I don’t want to disturb other people’s assessments, it’s too wicked.”
Elder Wei, “…”
Red-spotted man, “…”
The tactful zhenren heard Jing Yue’s words and offered him a plaque.
As soon as the plaque reached Jing Yue's hands, a square character of ‘water’ slowly formed. He visualized the words, infused his divine consciousness into the plaque, and gradually settled into meditation.
Sinking—he felt as if his entire being was sinking.
His body seemed to be submerged in water. The water was close to his skin, very cold, but he somehow felt warm and peaceful.
Slowly, a figure without facial features appeared in the water. The fingers of that figure started changing, and Jing Yue suddenly felt cold, as if all the water surrounding him had condensed into ice and he was frozen within.
However, he got rid of the ice by moving his divine consciousness slightly. The water became warm again and the figure disappeared.
Immediately, two more figures appeared, both without facial features.
One of them turned the water into mist, and the other held a sword to induce the water to form a huge vortex.
Jing Yue's vision was blurred, and his body felt like it was being shredded by thousands of small hands, so he released his divine consciousness again to dispel the pain.
And then, four figures appeared.
The numbers and speed increased, and the techniques used by the figures became more complicated and powerful.
Jing Yue kept isolating himself with his divine consciousness and a voice in his heart clamored repeatedly, “No, that’s not it.”
But what was it?
Jing Yue had no idea. He could only allow himself to plunge deeper.
Gradually, those figures became less, until they disappeared altogether.
The surroundings fell silent as if he was the only person left in this world.
After floating around for a long time, he vaguely saw a door. The door seemed just a step away, but at the same time, like a thousand miles away, hazy and unreal.
But Jing Yue’s spirit sense was drawn to it and he tried hard to get closer to that door.
Finally, he touched it.
The cold air penetrated his skin, colder than death, and immune to his divine consciousness. An inexplicable sense of crisis formed in Jing Yue’s mind, but the voice in his heart guided him to open the door without hesitation…
Pitch dark entered his eyes, but there was a light at the very end. The figure in the shadows felt cozy and familiar, like a clone of himself.
The figure held a long sword, his movements stiff, like a child who just started wielding a sword and couldn’t even perform a complete set of postures. So he tried over and over again, the movements neither smooth nor fluid. After trying thousands of times, the figure finally launched a strike!
The roar from heaven and earth seemed to rumble in Jing Yue’s ears. The fear of destruction and a strong sense of foreboding warned him that he must not allow the figure to launch that sword strike!
He yelled with all his might, “Stop it!”
In the outside world, two hours ago.
Many candidates found out that the child patriarch of Frostcloud Sect wanted to test his comprehension. They watched as Jing Yue received the plaque and immediately entered the meditative state, and thought that the patriarch of Frostcloud Sect was very extraordinary indeed.
However, after two hours passed, nothing happened at all.
“Why is it taking so long?”
“Is it because of poor aptitude?”
“Impossible. He’s the patriarch of Frostcloud Sect. Didn’t you hear? He’s already reached the Foundation Establishment stage before the age of twenty.”
“So what? He’s fortunate enough to receive the inheritance from Daoist-Master Jing Yuan. No matter how stupid, his cultivation progress must be easier than for most people.”
“Hehe… if you’re so capable, then you do it.”
People argued back and forth while the members of Mauve Aurora Sect tried their best to restrain the desire to laugh. Everyone was enjoying the spectacle.
Seeing Elder Wang’s expressionless face that didn’t betray his thoughts, Elder Wei said, “Wang-daoyou, don’t be anxious. Maybe Jing-laozu has comprehended some amazing technique and is slowly digesting....”
Before he could finish his sentence, a bright blue radiance glowed from the plaque in Jing Yue’s hands.
Elder Wang was overjoyed but he still pretended to be calm and gentle. “Thank you Wei-daoyou for your auspicious words.”
Elder Wei’s face flushed red and he wondered in a panic—did the child patriarch of Frostcloud Sect really comprehend a heavenly technique?
Suddenly, the sky turned dark.
When everyone looked up, they saw a swathe of dark clouds roiling and tumbling, with strokes of lightning intertwined within like a silver snake dancing wildly, moving towards this direction very quickly amid sounds of thunder.
Was it going to rain?
Could it even rain within the protective barrier of the academy?
Blue phoenix blinked its beady eyes as it felt a very familiar presence among the clouds.
As the dark clouds approached, an enormous pressure that threatened to swallow heaven and earth descended upon them, and the surrounding spiritual energy stirred madly, so much that even the mist on the platform was boiling.
Elder Wang felt his chest seize as his breathing became difficult. He suddenly realized something and shouted, “It’s a lightning tribulation! Run!”
At the same time, the plaque in Jing Yue’s hands exploded.
With him as the center, countless vicious sword Qi scattered. Without a target, without distinguishing friend from foe, it unleashed!
“Aaarrrggghhhhsaveme!!!” Blue phoenix flapped its wings and flew around wildly. The cultivators who were close to Jing Yue suffered wounds from the sword qi. Even several golden core zhenrens couldn’t withstand the attacks and had to run away.
But Jing Yue still had his eyes closed, face as white as paper, bleeding from his mouth, long eyelashes fluttered incessantly, like an evil beauty.
Many fine wounds cracked open all over his body, densely packed, and his clothes were quickly spattered with bloodstains.
Elder Wang was very anxious. He didn't know what the Laozu had encountered and worried that if this continued, Laozu wouldn’t be able to withstand the erosion of sword qi and his body would explode from within.
There was no other choice. He could only grit his teeth and turn back. A sword qi pierced his cheek and blood gushed!
Suddenly, a person flashed out in front of him and slashed with his long sword. The sword glare rushed towards Jing Yue and violently collided with the volatile sword qi in the air, causing a huge shockwave. Even the protective barrier of Nine Heaven Academy rippled with distorted waves.
The momentum from the sword glare was like breaking a bamboo, crushing the violent sword qi, creating a vacuum zone, and as if after detailed calculation, stopped about an inch away from Jing Yue.
Immediately after, the man disappeared from the spot, appeared behind Jing Yue in a flash, and launched a palm strike on his back!
(TN: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ )
Author’s Notes: Mini theater
Ji-ji: Aaaahhhh, I’m so agitated. Aaaahhhh, it’s so painful. Aaaahhh, my Jing-jing, come and save me!
Jing-jing: So noisy! What about a heavenly technique? I’m a boy who have comprehended a heavenly technique.
Elder Wang: Broad grin.
Elder Wei: Fuming in tears.
Narrator: The comment section suggests that you make a colorful lotus bloom.
Jing-jing: … Let’s leave this important task to Ji-ji. It likes this color.