Nan Gong Ling’s expression was gradually becoming ice cold. The expression in his eyes was as sharp as a sword as he looked at the crowd in front of him.
Chu Qing was the Patriarch of the Hao Yue Sect. He was Chu Zhan Peng’s father.
Han Xue Tian was the Patriarch of the Ice and Snow Mountain Village.
Teng Wu Shan was the Vice-Patriarch of the Mo Shou Sect.
Duan Tian Lang was the prince of the Imperial Family and was also Duan Han’s father who had come to the Yun Hai Sect recently and been thrown out.
All these people belonged to some of the most powerful Sects and Clans. They had come during the Elite Disciple Exam and it did not feel like they had come with good intentions.
“Patriarch Nan Gong Ling, all of these people coming to visit on the same day, this is a bit strange.”
Duan Tian Lang was the person standing on the gigantic sword. He was wearing a magnificent plate of armor which made him look like a majestic ruler. The gigantic sword began to lose altitude and moved towards the viewing platform accompanied by the sound of the atmosphere tearing under its pressure.
At the same time, Chu Qing and Han Xue Tian were also slowly moving down to the platform while looking extremely condescending.
Next to Duan Tian Lang, Duan Han was staring at Nan Gong Ling looking indifferent. Nan Gong Ling had recently humiliated him and told him to leave the Yun Hai Sect. Now he held a grudge against Nan Gong Ling and wanted to teach him a lesson.
“Oh hehe, it is an honor for me to receive Duan Tian Lang within the Yun Hai Sect. Please feel at home.” said Nan Gong Ling with a cold smile across his face and he then added: “It is only that we didn’t expect you to bring so many people. What brings you all to my Yun Hai Sect?”
“Not so long ago, that boy, Duan Han already visited you. The purpose of his visit was also very clear to you. His Majesty sees the things that we cannot. Therefore, he is preparing to finish building the Holy Courtyard of Xue Yue. Thus, he requires some of the most outstanding disciples within the country. All of the sects have already replied and chosen some of their disciples except for the Yun Hai Sect………”
When he finished talking Duan Tian Lang smiled and didn’t add anything else.
“Huh?” Nan Gong Ling was making a strange face. Chu Qing, Han Xue Tian and all these people were extremely powerful. Their children were also extremely talented. If they sent disciples there then they would be under the control of the Imperial Clan and as a consequence, would not belong to the Yun Hai Sect in the future.
But Chu Qing noticed that Duan Tian Lang had been talking in a very calm and soft tone which was why, Nan Gong Ling hadn’t understood what he meant.
“Alright, what does Duan Tian Lang propose to do?” asked Nan Gong Ling.
“Since Nan Gong Ling hasn’t been willing to hand over some of his best disciples, I personally came on behalf of His Majesty to select some myself. Today is the day of the Elite Disciple Exam within the Yun Hai Sect. I’ll be able to see your strongest disciples with my own eyes and select them one after the other.” said Duan Tian Lang in a strict manner.
The facial expression of every member of the Yun Hai Sect suddenly changed. How savage! What kind of place did they think the Yun Hai Sect was? What gave them the right to choose geniuses as they pleased?
“What happens if I don’t agree?” said Nan Gong Ling as his voice grew colder.
“Nan Gong Ling will agree just like all the other Patriarchs had to agree.” said Duan Tian Lang as he was filled with confidence. He was talking as if his word was law and no one could refute him.
“Nan Gong Ling isn’t hurrying to select disciples because of the Elite Disciple Exam but he shouldn’t disagree too fast either. The Holy Courtyard of Xue Yue will not accept mediocre disciples. It will only accept the best and most outstanding disciples of the entire Xue Yue Country. They will give them access to the best profound pills, the best weapons and the best teachers available. Resources will be almost endless.
There will also be the possibility to learn the most powerful skills available. They will be able to choose between an enormous amount of martial skills and they will truly become the pillars of the country.”
Duan Tian Lang was saying those words to all the disciples of the Yun Hai Sect. He was trying to tempt them with the vast wealth. Gaining access to an unlimited quantity of weapons, pills and skills… all disciples of the Yun Hai Sect would obviously tempted, who would refuse such a wonderful opportunity?
They came to the Yun Hai Sect for the sake of Cultivation. They wanted to become powerful. If the Holy Courtyard of Xue Yue could provide them with a better cultivation environment as well as much better cultivation facilities, what reasons did they have to stay in the Yun Hai Sect?
At that moment, many disciples became restless. Many disciples were prepared to give their utmost to be accepted into the Holy Courtyard.
Nan Gong Ling cursed. Duan Tian Lang who was trying to cause a rift within the Yun Hai Sect. It was truly a cunning and ruthless plan.
What Nan Gong Ling found even more intolerable is that they were clearly provoking the Yun Hai Sect with these actions.
“I’m curious to see who would dare to oppose the Yun Hai Sect.” thought Nan Gong Ling. He then looked at Duan Tian Lang and said: “Since Duan Tian Lang wants to watch the Elite Disciple Exam, I will allow you to stay and watch.”
“The ranked battles for the ordinary disciple and the core disciples are postponed for another day. Today, only elite disciples can fight.”
The crowd burst into an uproar when they heard Nan Gong but a short instant after, they understood why he had made that decision.
The ordinary disciples were too weak so the Yun Hai Sect would lose face. The core disciples were the heart of the Yun Hai Sect and he could not afford to lose these disciples. There wouldn’t be much time before a core disciple could become a new pillar within the Sect. In addition, it wouldn’t be wise to show the strength of the core disciples to the unwelcome guests. Therefore, showing the elite disciples was the most suitable decision.
Duan Tian Lang was smiling. Would Nan Gong Ling’s actions make any difference?
“Elite disciples, go into the Life and Death Arena and make a line in the order as indicated by the ranking list.” Said Nan Gong Ling.
The elite disciples, whose name was in the list of the ranking list composed of eighty one disciples. The entire crowd was staring at them with admiration. They would have the chance to bring honor to themselves and the sect.
“I will also change the rules of the second round of the Elite Disciple Exam. If you want to be in the ranking list, you must challenge someone who is already on the ranking list. If you win, you will be ranked. No disciple can be challenged twice.”
Nan Gong Ling continued to talk. The crowd burst into an uproar again. A multitude of people was disappointed and had given up all hope. This round was a chance for disciples to test themselves and their own strength. However because of the new rule the exam had changed. Many disciples would no longer have the chance to test themselves against the elite disciples.
“These battles will all be fought to the death. There are…… no restrictions.”
“Boooom.” That shocking sentence was like a bomb exploding in everyone’s head. No restrictions….to the death…
If they challenged the stronger of the elite disciples then they could lose the battle and their life along with it. There was no option to give up, they would be slaughtered.
A victory meant being able to see one’s name in the elite disciple ranking list. Losing had serious consequences to the extent that an opponent without mercy could end your life. That was a big price to pay for losing.
“Gambling with one’s life at stake is too dangerous. I’ll just try again next year.”
A countless number of disciples were shaking their heads after the previous statement. Many of them agreed on the fact that risking one’s life in order to join the ranking list was not a worthwhile risk.
“Lin Feng, the Patriarch is really cruel. I just joined the elite disciples but I am also only at the first Ling Qi layer. On that list composed of eighty one names, the weakest have already broken through to the second Ling Qi layer. I have no chance for winning at all.”
Han Man was smiling wryly. He thought he was going to get the chance to fight as much as he could during the Elite Disciple Exam but hadn’t expected that things would turn out this way.
Lin Feng had a different feeling. These new rules would probably lead to incredible battles. Not only were those who were going to join brave, but they would also be the most outstanding members of the sect. Only those outstanding disciples would risk their life. That is what Nan Gong Ling wanted to see. He wanted to show these people how strong his disciples were.
“All the eighty one disciples on the ranking list are now on the fighting stage in the Life and Death Arena. Now you can challenge any of them and go onto the fighting stage of the middle.”
When Nan Gong Ling finished talking, he sat down and observed Duan Tian Lang.
“Luo Lie is willing to challenge You Lin to a battle.”
A silhouette stepped onto the fighting stage. Because it was impossible to challenge the same person twice, the first person had a huge advantage over the other disciples as he could challenge someone who was very low in the rankings. You Lin was the eighty first ranked disciple.
At that moment, You Lin had an ugly facial expression. Being the first one to be challenged… that was such a humiliation.
“Whoever chooses to challenge us ranked disciples, death will be your punishment.”
Said Ren Wen Yan who was standing in front of everyone else on the fighting stage. He had made it clear to all disciples with his cold tone that the ranked disciples would kill all their challengers.
“Agreed.” Said You Ling as he jumped onto the fighting stage. He immediately started to unleash all of his skills using his full power. Even if Wen Ren Yan hadn’t said, You Lin had already planned to kill his opponent.
The Stormy Gorge became particularly calm.
The crowd was watching the fighting stage within the Life and Death Arena. The fighting stage was entirely red with blood. Lying on the fighting stage was a pile of corpses. All of these corpses were the corpses of the challengers. They had all lost and been killed without exception. They did not remove the corpses but left them there as a reminder to anyone who issued a challenge. This would be the place where they entered their eternal rest.
Losing your challenge would mean certain death.
The lesson was cruel and bloody. Gradually, those who were eager to challenge these ranked disciples were slowly dwindling.
The disciples who had been challenged were the ones at the bottom of the ranking. From that moment, if someone else wanted to challenge these ranked elite disciples, they had to challenge those who were even higher in the ranking list.
As expected from the ranked elite disciples, none of them was mediocre. Even You Lin who was ranked eighty one was exceptionally strong.
Nan Gong Ling was still sitting indifferently looking at the fighting stage. That bloody lesson was going to show these young disciples how hard, cruel and brutal the path of cultivation was.
On the path of cultivation, only those who had a persistent heart, as well as a determination and willpower as solid as rock, could march forward courageously. Those who had a fear of blood would not last long on the path of cultivation. Those who were too kindhearted would be killed for their foolishness. This was not a world to be underestimated with light heartened ideals.
“A bunch of crappy cultivators trying in vain to be ranked is enough to make you all so desperate and hopeless?”
Wen Ren Yan said while pointing at the five corpses on the stage. He then glanced evilly at the entire crowd looking extremely. He was mocking every elite disciple who was not within the ranking.
He was the top ranked elite disciple and none of these five people were worth his time.
All the elite disciples were furious but at the same time they felt powerless. They couldn’t believe Wen Ren Yan’s harsh words but he was a genius whose power was acknowledged by everybody. There were very few people who would dare to provoke him.
“Patriarch, I think that you can establish the new ranking list now. They are all pathetic and hopeless.”
Wen Ren Yan was looking at Nan Gong Ling as he hurled insults at the other elite disciples to make himself look better.
Nan Gong Ling looked around at the crowd and slightly nodded. Wen Ren Yan was really highly arrogant but he was right, the Yun Hai Sect didn’t have that many geniuses. Inevitably, he would sooner or later become one of the pillars of the sect.
“Ridiculous, you truly are laughable.”
A loud voice was heard spreading through the atmosphere. It made the crowd shiver.
Wen Ren Yan was surprised. He looked around to see who had said these words to him.
“You again.” Said Wen Ren Yan with murderous intentions in his eyes. “What is so ridiculous?”
“You’re the top ranked elite disciple. Yet you are still extremely presumptuous. You look down on other disciples while calling them names, calling them crap… but at the beginning when you started practicing cultivation, were you as strong as now? Were you born as an unrivalled master of the Lin Qi Layer? Have you ever considered that to others, you might be the crappy cultivator?”