The Sun was high in the sky, draping down soft and gentle lights.
On the coast, young boys and girls who came for the tryout formed a long queue to register and enter the Zi Yang House’s competition.
The Elder who was previously responsible for the tryout has been sent to the Cave of the Sinister Wind, where he will spend the next ten years standing before a wall as the Sinister Wind sliced his flesh.
This was a cruel punishment, and it was karma for his unreasonable behaviors earlier.
The person responsible for the tryout has been switched to another Elder.
Before him, a wooden chair stood. On top were sheets after sheets of shiny spiritual paper. Every single apprentice who enters the contest will leave their name on this paper. This was a mandatory process used to count how many people come back alive after the tryout and how many people’s corpses will be buried here.
The first part of the tryout asked for apprentices’ age and cultivation level.
The second part of the tryout tested for natural talent and cultivation comprehension.
The third part of the tryout tested for combat experience.
Every year, when the Houses open their doors to welcome new members, people bleed, and some even die.
After a short while, everyone who was entering the tryout finished with their registration process. Then, with the help and support of the Elder, the test for natural talent began.
After roughly an hour, this section of the test was also completed. More than half of the people ended up leaving with the consolation of their family.
Roughly only 100 people remained.
Those who remained all came from the small forces that existed under the wing of the House of Zi Yang. Their natural talent and cultivation comprehension all met the required criteria. Yun Yan and Yun Meng were amongst this group.
Next was the third section, combat.
These 100 people, under the direction of the Elder, entered the dense forest and began to search for the hidden tokens that were scattered all over the forest. The rule was that anyone who acquires a token before sunset can successfully enter the House of Zi Yang.
The top10 people who finds the most tokens will be rewarded generously on top of becoming members of the House.
The rule was simple, but the process was cruel.
The House of Zi Yang never buries 100 tokens. In other words, out of everyone here, at least half will come back empty-handed. This was an optimistic assumption that all the tokens will be found.
It’s not hard to imagine how many people would fight till their deaths in order to acquire a token and to get a spot in the top 10.
"Such a ruthless competition. I wonder how many people will walk out alive before sunset."
Watching the hopeful 100 young boys and girls enter the forest, Ling Xian sighed.
"Survival of the fittest is the golden rule of the Taoism community and the reason why humans have been surviving until now." Zi Dong Lai grinned faintly. Standing shoulder to shoulder with the Demonic Fairy, neither of them exclaimed over the lives that will soon be lost.
He was a completion leveled cultivator who stood above everyone, why would he care about those ants’ lives?
The higher you go, the lonelier you get. The higher you go, the more ruthless you get.
"I understand. I simply feel sorry for them." Ling Xian nodded. He began to question whether his boiling heart and passion will die as he becomes stronger.
Sensing Ling Xian’s underlying meaning, Zi Dong Lai shook his head. "When you reach my level, you will no longer exclaim."
Ling Xian smiled, he did not plan to discuss this further.
Human nature was a very complex matter, and it was the most difficult to control. As long as everything goes as one wishes and as long as one has no regrets, then all is well. Why overthink and seek trouble?
"I wonder who your Master is?" Zi Dong Lai suddenly asked and softly chuckled, his tiger-like eyes were ridden with high expectation.
"I have no Masters and belong in no House nor Clan. I am a nomadic cultivator," Ling Xian did not tell the Supreme Master of the Zi Yang House the truth. There was also no proper way to tell him. If he said his Master was the legendary Immortal of Alchemy, Liao Cang Qiong, Zi Dong Lai would die from shock.
Hearing this, Zi Dong Lai’s eyes brightened. "Being a nomad is good. No rules and no restraints, how free."
"If Headmaster has something to say, then you can just say it. There is no need to beat around the bushes." Ling Xian shook his head with a grin. How smart was he? He knew that Zi Dong Lai had other intentions right away.
Having his cover blown so soon made Zi Dong Lai laugh. Not at all embarrassed, he said, "No wonder you’re a Heaven’s Favorite. If that’s the case, then I will get to the main point. I want to formally invite you to act as an Honorable Guest for the Zi Yang House. I wonder how you feel about that?"
"Headmaster, you just told me how great it is to be a nomad, why are you suddenly recruiting me?" Ling Xian teasingly glanced at him.
"I made that comment without any intentions." Zi Dong Lai chuckled as he stared at the young man before him. This was a Heaven’s Favorite who’s natural talent alone is heaven’s defying. Belonging to no House and having no Masters made him a perfect candidate for the Honorable Guest position. Zi Dong Lai did not want to let go of this opportunity.
To know that in the 36 Islands, the Demonic Fairy was arguably the strongest Heaven’s Favorites and was placed third on the List of Hidden Dragons. The top two of the list have been behind doors for a long time and have yet to cross paths with the Demonic Fairy. If they had a chance to battle, then she most likely will climb higher on the list and be named the strongest cultivator of the younger generation on the 36 Islands!
However, such a talented and unprecedented genius has found an opponent who has defeated her. What an unbelievable event.
Though the Demonic Fairy was injured and could not fight to her full potential, both her cultivation and her strength were at the peak. For Ling Xian to defeat her under these circumstances, it has proven how much stronger he was than her!
If he could prepare a technique that can defend against the Demonic Fairy’s real abilities, then he will truly defeat the Demonic Fairy!
Even if he does lack that one technique, Ling Xian’s natural and organic talent and capabilities were still undeniably strong. Without a doubt, he was a notable character in both history and modern day!
Such a rare genius, how could Zi Dong Lai’s heart not waver?
Any force in the entire world would want to do absolutely everything they can to snatch Ling Xian!
Ling Xian was simply too dazzling. It was easy to predict that if he does not injure himself or die on the path to immortality, he will eventually become a dominating powerhouse! His future was bright, limitless, and unparalleled.
"Hmm… to be an Honorable Guest..."
Ling Xian stayed silent for a while and decided to accept Zi Dong Lai’s request. He had two intentions in mind. One was to protect the two sisters, and two was to find more information regarding how to return to the nine continents.
Now that Zi Dong Lai has personally invited him to be an Honorable Guest he was not going to reject. Using the high position of a Honorable Guest, he will read some ancient books and collect some records.
"What do you think?" Zi Dong Lai fixated his gaze onto Ling Xian, he was full of anticipation and feared the word "no". The two fists he formed were even starting to perspire. It was obvious how nervous he was.
Heaven’s Favorites like Ling Xian were far too rare. If he misses this opportunity today, Zi Dong Lai will hold onto this regret for life!
Even more, if the founder of the Zi Yang House find out that he let Ling Xian go, he will probably come back from the dead out of anger and slice him into pieces with the Sword of Zi Yang!
Of course, this was a joke.
"Since the Headmaster is personally asking me…" Ling Xian softly smiled as he saw Zi Dong Lai’s gaze fill with excitement. He slowly spoke out the two words that brought Zi Dong Lai pure euphoria.
"I accept." 5 Best Chinese Romance Books of 2020 So Far