Jiang Le followed his protégé teacher to another winding passage before entering a spacious hall. It had an aura of grandeur and he was awestruck by the beautiful walls, the pools and the yellow curtains that were there.
The Verdant Scarlet Fairy Qingshuang, Xue Ji and Xia Ji were already waiting in the hall when they had approached.
He was a little afraid of the Verdant Scarlet Fairy as she had slapped him real hard the first time but as soon as he caught sight of their enchanting figures, he was thinking as he looked at their perked bosoms. “Let bygones be bygones. We are one protégé clan and we have to get along for many years to come.”
The Verdant Scarlet Fairy said aloud, “I have thought that we should give an appropriate welcome to our new protégé but it seems that he has plenty of disturbing thoughts.”
Xia Ji smiled sweetly, “Dirty thoughts I suppose,”
Xue Ji laughed softly, “Oh really?”
Jiang Le smiled as he quickly bowed with his hands, “My respects to Protégé Aunt and Sisters!” But he was actually thinking, “Terrible, is this the start of my misery? They may be beautiful but they all have thorns, sharp thorns!”
The Verdant Scarlet Fairy Qingshuang asked with a amuse smile, “Are you ready for the testing?”
Jiang Le nodded slowly as he took in a deep breath and proclaimed loudly, “I am ready!”
Yue Ling walked to a crystal clear pool and gently tugged him along, “Did you see this large pool? This is the Celestial Mirror Pool.”
Jiang Le nodded slowly as he stared at the crystal clear. As he looked into the pool, he noticed that shiny dots began to surface in the pool. He was slightly startled because there were no lightings around!
Yue Ling explained, seemingly reading his mind. “There are 1080 stars in this pool. These represent the 360 visible stars and the 720 hidden stars that form our celestial constellations. You have to remember the movement and location of each of the stars. This will test your aptitude and your mental focus. You have to be very serious about this for this determines your self-confidence level in your long journey as a celestial practitioner. Do you have any questions?”
Jiang Le took a look at the rapid moving shining dots in the reflection of the pool and asked, “How much time do I have to remember and after I have remembered, how do I tell you if I remember?”
Yue Ling said unhurriedly as she pointed out to a black pool that was behind her, “That is the Celestial Revealing Pool. All you have to do is to concentrate and put both your hands inside and your memory will reveal inside it.”
Jiang Le was astonished, not believing what he was hearing. He had wanted to interrupt but thought that it was wiser not to say anything.
Yue Ling continued, “You have three days to meditate in front of the Celestial Mirror Pool. However, you may give up at any point of the time. During this period, you are required to fast so if you need any food or water now, you may request for it. At any point of time, you can choose to go to the Celestial Revealing Pool for your final testing.”
She paused for a while before she looked intently at Jiang Le, “I hope that you will take this test seriously. Because I have already accepted into the Tranquil Palace as a protégé, you will not fail the testing. You will need to remember at least a hundred stars in order to be accepted as our clan protégé. I hope that you use as much time and endure as much as possible.”
When she was looking at Jiang Le, he could feel his heart pounding hard and he managed a weak smile, “I will not fail. After all, I am regarded as a genius in the martial fraternity…”
Yue Ling interrupted with a resigned soft sigh, “Pride will only get into your celestial way. In order to reach a new divine state, you must cast away all your past glory and achievement.”
Though her words were simple, it pierced through Jiang Le’s heart as he looked intently at her. He thought, “My protégé teacher is so sincere and she wishes for me to do well. I should not fail her. After all, I am a genius.. no, I am not a genius. I am just a mortal trying to be immortal. Only when you are an immortal then it is not too late to declare yourself a genius!”
He asked with a grin as he looked at the Verdant Scarlet Fairy, Xue Ji and Xia Ji, “I got it now. Just wondering, I wonder how good is good? I am sure that my fellow protégé seniors are much better than me.”
The Verdant Scarlet Fairy noted the sarcasm in his remarks but she was smiling, “I can only remember six hundred and thirty of the positions of the stars.”
Xue Ji smiled gently and said, “Alas, I can only remember three hundred of the star positions. I am really not that good.”
Xia Ji smiled weakly, “I can only manage two hundred and seventy of the star positions.”
Yue Ling said simply, “Eight hundred and ten. Do you have any more questions or require some food?”
Jiang Le shook his head, “No more questions. I am good for now so I like to take the test now.”
As soon he had said that, he was startled to see his Protégé Teacher Yueling, the Verdant Scarlet Fairy Qingshuang, Xue Ji and Xia Ji had already positioned themselves in a meditating pose!
He asked, “You are not leaving?”
Yue Ling had already closed her eyes as she said softly, “We will fast with you as well. When you are ready then we will end our meditation.”
Jiang Le was startled and he was feeling remorse as he thought, “If I starve myself for 3 days then they are going to starve for 3 days as well?”
He sighed softly as he began to sit down in front of the Celestial Mirror Pool and began to count the stars in the reflection of the pool.