The Sun had just risen, shedding down soft golden light that surrounded the entire City of Dan.
At the city center on a broad field, an elderly with grey hair stood. Beside him was a giant rock that was painted entirely black.
The Spiritual Sensing Rock.
It was a powerful rock inside the Taoism community that could test out the capabilities of a cultivator's spiritual energy.
As everyone was aware of, the spiritual energy of a cultivator was not representative of the abilities of an alchemist. However, it did represent an alchemist's alchemy realm. Therefore, to judge which realm an alchemist would belong to, the easiest way to do it was by testing out his spiritual energy level.
It was because of this, was there a Spiritual Sensing Rock placed here. It was meant to test the level of spiritual energy of the incomers.
After all, this was the gathering of the alchemists hosted by the five clans. It was not an event anyone could attend. The first requirement was that the alchemist must be at least of the seventh realm. The second requirement was that they could not be older than 40.
If the alchemists of the eighth and ninth realm were allowed to attend, then how could this contest be a high quality competition? If the older generation were allowed to attend, then how could this gathering be named the gathering of the younger generation?
It was important to note here that in the Taoism community, all cultivators younger than 40 were considered the younger generation.
Currently, alchemists from all over Yuezhou formed a long line in front of the elderly, like a dragon's tail. They were waiting for their turns.
Even though it had been two days since the sign up started, the number of people who showed up never stopped. What could they do? Yuezhou was far too big. Despite the strict rules set on potential contenders, many people still qualified.
Of course, there were still people who tried to get away from the restrictions.
For example, there was a scrawny man here, trying to conceal his actual age with a mysterious treasure. He didn't even use his brain to think just how powerful the five clans were and how could they ever let him escape before their eyes?
The elderly here was a master of a technique similar to the Inner's Eyes. He could infiltrate everyone, and so, by just a glance, he saw the scrawny man's real age.
Then, the elderly smashed the man down the stage until the man was puking out blood.
This startled everyone in the line. Many people were now seeping fear.
It was obvious that these people also came with the intention of lying their way through.
After witnessing how the scrawny man was seen through by the elderly and was punished, naturally they were fearful. Then, they hid their face behind their flappy sleeves and slowly left the line.
Only the alchemists with real capabilities remained confident and laughed at the scene.
Ling Xian, who had left the store Nothing is for Sale and had been waiting for a long while, laughed, "The forest is big and there are all kinds of birds. Why didn't he think about what would happen even if he did succeed in getting into the gathering?"
"There are still the initial trial and the second trial. Even if they did pass those, what is going to happen inside the Realm of Alchemy will be projected to the outside world. When that happens, wouldn't they just be humiliating themselves?" Ling Xian shook his head and laughed. He couldn't understand what those people were thinking because he never faked his way to achieve anything.
Remember that this was a competition with the highest bar possible. To be able to sign up to enter was already a proud achievement. If one could pass the initial and second test and enter the Realm of Alchemy, it would be something to brag about.
Enough to grant alchemists from small towns with fame and enough for them to brag about their entire lives.
This was why there were so many cultivators who were trying to lie their way through.
After witnessing the scrawny man being caught, those who tried to bluff their way through immediately disappeared. The line to the event greatly shortened as a result. The remaining young alchemists remained and accepted the elder's test one by one.
Without the bluffers, the speed of the sign up increased greatly. Every single alchemist passed the test of the sign up after standing merely three seconds before the elderly.
"This truly is the gathering of the younger generation in Yuezhou. There are so many young alchemists who qualify."
Staring at the countless silhouettes, Ling Xian exclaimed, "The sign up is just the beginning though. We will have to face the initial and the second test. When that happens, the population will greatly reduce."
Then, he stopped mumbling and silently waited for his turn.
Just like that, time passed by slowly. After about 15 minutes, it was finally his turn.
On cue, Ling Xian stepped up to the stage and arrived beside the elderly. Then, both him and the elderly frowned.
He frowned because he saw the elderly's cultivation level of being at the peak of the completion level. He couldn't help but to exclaim at the terror of the five clans. Even the elderly in charge of the sign up was of the completion level.
As for why the elderly frowned, it was also because he saw Ling Xian's capabilities. This surprised him. However, his shock transformed into excitement in mere seconds. He chuckled, "Interesting. I cannot believe that the gathering that happens once a decade would attract the attention of a completion leveled cultivator."
"Nobody made the rule to disallow completion leveled cultivators, right?" Ling Xian grinned, comprehending what the elder meant by this.
Don't forget, this was the gathering of alchemists. The competition was about alchemy, not cultivation. Normally, those who excel at alchemy do not have a high cultivation level, because these people spend all their time on alchemy.
After all, a person's time and attention are limited.
Of course, this was not strictly the case. It wasn't completely true that all profound alchemists would have low cultivation levels. There were also cultivators who could achieve both with success in both alchemy and in cultivation.
It was just that these people were far too rare. Only those with insane talent in both Taoism and alchemy could achieve this. These people were phoenix feathers of the bunch!
Ling Xian was, without a doubt, one of these rare people.
This was why the sluggish and sleepy elderly suddenly found energy.
"I have observed your bone structure and realized that you are only a little older than 20. Yet you are already at the advanced stage of the completion level, this isn't easy." The elderly checked out Ling Xian with great interest and his eyes flickered with praise.
"You are flattering me," Ling Xian smiled. He was used to being complimented and didn't find this embarrassing.
"You are calm and collected. Not bad, really not bad." The elderly's eyes were dense with admiration. It was as if he was appreciating an art work and forgot all about the sign up.
Ling Xian helplessly smiled and reminded, "Senior, I am here for the sign up."
Hearing this, the elderly remembered his responsibilities. He pointed at the black rock and said, "Use your spiritual energy to hit this rock. If the dial lands on three, then you pass."
Ling Xian nodded and looked over to the Spiritual Sensing Rock. He saw that it had nine carvings on it, representing the nine realms. It started low and ended high, from one to 9.
A ninth realm alchemists would have spiritual energy that could push the dial up to one, eighth realm could push it to two, and so on. In other words, if he can push the dial up to the three, it would mean he was of the seventh realm and that was enough to pass the sign up stage.
Therefore, he didn't use all his energy. He merely manipulated his Qi softly, just enough to force the dial up to three.
"This young fella knows to hide his capabilities." The elderly grinned mischievously, knowing that Ling Xian never used all his spiritual energy. However, he didn't say much and tossed Ling Xian a token.
"This is your token. Go over there for your initial test."
Ling Xian faintly beamed and stuffed the token into his chest pocket and walked towards the east. Since he had passed the sign up, the initial test was coming up for him next.
Only if he passed the initial test would he have earned his right to enter the competition.
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