Chapter 154: The First Trial (3)
Three hours since the trial had started and already more than half of the competing cultivators were decimated.
The moods among the celestials who were watching the scene were quite somber. Even the four major powerhouses of the region, the Heavy Moon Sect, the Alluring Blossoms Palace, the Spirit Sword Manor and the Divine Nine Sect had all lost a couple of their candidates. They had never expected that the first trial would be so tough!
This was way much tougher than 30 years ago!
The Grandmaster of the Spirit Sword Manor Gao Yishu had a dark look. It was because they had already lost two of their brightest candidates and another candidate Qian Jingjing was wandering hopelessly in the mountains until she had managed to meet with Lu Qingyun and Leng Qiuyue.
The powerful sword arts of their celestial clan were supposed to be used on their opponents and not these desolate beasts!
But the one with the darkest look was Divine Mistress Jiu You from the Divine Nine Sect. All her female protégés were lost in the mountains and got slaughtered by the desolate beasts. Her celestial clan was actually the first of the four major powerhouses to fall. She simply could not believe her eyes!
She shot a look at the smiling Shen Yufeng as she muttered, “This trial is too biased. The men are usually better in navigation and all my candidates are women.”
Shen Yufeng continued to smile as she replied, “But the women are usually better in sensing dangers with their superior sixth sense, don’t you think so? Perhaps your protégés ought to be more alert.”
Divine Mistress Jiu You hummed and looked away. Her celestial clan was now the laughing stock of this tournament and she had no wish to get into an argument with Fragrance Herald Shen Yufeng.
Shen Yufeng turned to smile at Feng Xiaoxiao and Tang Xuefeng, who were both looking intently at the trial below with their bright golden eyes. “Do you think that I have set the trial to be a little too difficult?”
Feng Xiaoxiao chuckled softly, “Is it difficult? I don’t think too.”
Tang Xuefeng smiled, “I think it is too easy.”
The leaders of the powerful celestial clans that had overheard them could only lower their heads in shame or to pretend that the trial was actually quite alright.
Grandmaster Yu Bairen from the Heavy Moon Sect had only lost one candidate and as long as it was not his son Yu Tianjian, he could still manage a weak smile. He was a little unhappy though. It was because several weaker celestial clans had actually ganged up to block the way of his fielded team and hence had caused his celestial clan to lose one of its candidates.
To the powerful celestial clans, fighting the weaker celestial clans one to one was not a difficult thing. It was because the more powerful celestial clans had the more superior fighting arts and hence they could still beat someone who had a much higher cultivation level than them. Furthermore, the candidates that they had fielded were their brightest core protégés.
However, although the weaker celestial clans lack in martial prowess, they had no lack of intelligence and cunning. In fact, due to the harsh environment of their celestial clans, their level of intelligence could even be describe as better than the average celestial powerhouses.
Many of them had quickly decided that their best chance of winning the tournament was to get rid of the protégés of the celestial powerhouses as quickly as possible before they could face them later in the other levels of the trial.
“This way. It is perfectly safe! Everyone is moving this way so this must be the correct trail!” This was the common bait that the common celestial clans had used against the celestial powerhouses.
And quite a number of the protégés from the celestial powerhouses had actually fallen into the many baits and traps that were used by the common celestial clans. It was inconceivable to the proud sons and daughters of the celestial powerhouses that guile would be used against them and they had thought that the primary goal was to reach the flatten mountain top.
But it was apparently not so.
The dozens of celestial powerhouses of the region were now utterly shamed by the hundreds of common celestial clans.
Every time a protégé of the celestial powerhouses had fallen, there would be loud thunderous claps and cheers from the side of the common celestial clans.
At this moment the eyes of all the celestials were looking at a party of four that was the first to arrive at the foot of the flatten mountain.
And this party was the Clear Sky Pavilion, one of the four powerhouses of New Empyrean City. Their team was perfectly intact and they moved as one.
They were not the first to speed for the flatten mountain in the horizon. Instead they had moved at a constant unhurried pace and seemed to be able to pick all the correct trails without coming to a dead end. They had no wasted time and were equally successful in eluding all the desolate monsters.
“The Clear Sky Pavilion from New Empyrean City is actually the first to reach the foot of the flatten mountain…”
“How is it possible?”
“They are a team of wholly female cultivators. The same as the Divine Nine Sect that got wiped out. What a heaven and earth team…”
“I’ve thought that the Divine Nine Sect is ranked much higher than the Clear Sky Pavilion? It is a regional powerhouse after all…”
Divine Mistress Jiu You of the Divine Nine Sect was looking extremely sheepish at the mention of her celestial clan…
“Who are these cultivators from the Clear Sky Pavilion? One of them is actually a little maiden? They are all astonishing beauties…”
“That little maiden is Qiuxiang Hanyu, the little mistress of the Clear Sky Pavilion. The other two are Qiuxiang Huan and Shangguan Furong. As for that veiled maiden, according to the registration records, she is Yue Lingling, an elder of the Clear Sky Pavilion.”
Yue Lingling was actually Yue Lingxi. She had used an alias to register for the tournament.
On the mountain stage, Qiuxiang Mei and the protégés of the Clear Sky Pavilion were all pleasantly surprised that their chosen candidates were the first to arrive at the flatten mountain.
Qiuxiang Mei was thinking, “This Yue Lingxi is really good. But why is she using an alias for this tournament? Is she hiding something? Her background must be quite extraordinary.”
Grandmaster Ling Bei of the Flying Armament Sect was secretly looking at Qiuxiang Mei as he thought, “It seems that I have underestimate Qiuxiang Huan and the Clear Sky Pavilion. They are still a strong celestial clan after losing Yin Shisi…”
Inside the trial;
Yue Lingxi said to her team after using her divine sense, “This flatten mountain has more than one trail to the top. Follow me.”
Qiuxiang Huan, Qiuxiang Hanyu and Shangguan Furong nodded as they quickly followed Yue Lingxi. They had thought that they had to climb the steep cliff of this flatten mountain to reach the top and they were all shyly thinking that it may be an unsightly thing for them.
Tens of minutes later, other groups of cultivators had also reached the foot of the flatten mountain. Immediately one after another they were all climbing on the steep cliff to reach the top. Among them, was Nangong Yu.
As the tens of cultivators began to climb upward along the steep cliff, a few of them lost their grips and had stumbled down, meeting their poor ends.
Lu Qingyun, Leng Qiuyue and Qian Jingjing were the next wave of cultivators that had arrived.
“Thanks for sending me so far! We are even now!” Qian Jingjing chuckled softly.
Lu Qingyun smiled as he raised his hands to bide her off, “Farewell then.”
“Thank you once more for the aid that you’ve shown to us earlier,” Leng Qiuyue thanked her.
Qian Jingjing rolled her eyes before she laughed, “So what now then?”
Lu Qingyun, Leng Qiuyue: …
“You are not leaving?” Lu Qingyun frowned lightly.
Qian Jingjing smiled shyly, “We…erm…are friends now right? So why don’t we stay as a team first until we have reached the top? I have lost sight of my team…”
Then she added with a soft chuckle, “I can tell you that you are a smart person and will surely think of an extraordinary way to reach the top, am I right?”
Lu Qingyun smiled weakly, “Actually I am thinking that since we still got the time, why don’t we find a trail in the mountains to reach the top. It is a little crude to climb up the steep cliff just like this. What if we have fallen from the top? It will surely be a nasty sight.”
As soon as he had said that, a cultivator was heard screaming as he lost his grip and had crashed to the bottom of the steel cliff with a loud bang.
Qian Jingjing quickly nodded several times as she gasped at the unlucky fallen cultivator, “Indeed, indeed. You are so smart to have suggested this.”
Lu Qingyun smiled bitterly. He had only suggested this because he was not a good climber.
As their group left the scene to scout around the flatten mountains, more cultivators had arrived at the scene and they numbered several hundreds more.
They too, were appalled by the height of the steep cliff and were further appalled by the number of cultivators that were falling in front of them.
“Do we have to climb this steep cliff?”
“Of course we have to. This is a trial to test our endurance and strength. Or else this won’t be trial. Do you think that a trial is prepared in a manner to test our laziness?”
“Yes, yes. What you’ve said make perfect sense.”
“Also, although the cliff looks identical from all sides but you can only see the minute difference when you are closer. This trial is not only a test of our endurance and strength but also a test of our great intelligence to find the best possible way to climb up.”
“What a perfect analysis!”
“So let’s us all start to climb the cliff now.”
“The cultivators that are in front of us are already showing us a good example. Let’s follow their leads.”
“Surely they must have scouted ahead of us and this is the only way left.”
“We have better hurry in case the desolate beasts at the back catch up with us.”
“Yes, better hurry.”
“Climbing the cliff is definitely safer than roaming at the bottom of the cliff when the desolate beasts arrive.”
After a short discussion, the hundreds of cultivators were all rushing to find the best spot to climb the steep.
Xuan Danfeng was looking desponded as she walked down the mountains. She had never been so hurt in this manner before. She was a former divine ruler, a mighty figurehead. She could not believe that the Three-Destinies Old Man had actually asked her to leave in such a cold-hearted manner.
After all, she had come all the way to look for him and thought that he would be happy to see her but in the end he was not interested to talk to her in the least bit.
Xuan Danfeng was suddenly startled. It was because she had suddenly heard him calling after her. But her divine sense did not pick up anyone in close range. “I must be dreaming…” she muttered.
“Xiaofang…” the Three-Destinies Old Man had suddenly flashed next to her, startling her.
It was really him. She was not dreaming?
But she replied coldly, “So what do you want? Didn’t you ask me to leave already?”
The Three-Destinies Old Man sighed deeply before he took out a wine bottle, “This is for you. Don’t be angry anymore, alright? I am sorry for speaking in such a harsh tone to you.”
“Hmph! Do you think that a mere wine bottle is going to appease me?” Xuan Danfeng hummed coldly but her eyes were already staring at the wine bottle…
The Three-Destinies Old Man said quietly, “I have two enemies. One hidden and one in view. Therefore I cannot be distracted.”
Xuan Danfeng asked curiously, “Who are they? Can you tell me? I can maybe help you to settle them? Don’t forget that I am a seventh realm expert after all.”
The Three-Destinies Old Man shook his head, “My enemies are more formidable than you think. It is better that you do not know who they are.”
“Who knows if you are really looking at your enemies or the pretty maidens?” Xuan Danfeng hummed coldly.
The Three-Destinies Old Man frowned, “Naturally my enemies.”
All of a sudden Xuan Danfeng had grabbed his wine bottle and said with a wry smile, “Do you think a single wine bottle is enough?”
The Three-Destinies Old Man smiled weakly, “I can give you another bottle of wine. Whether you are willing to accept it or not, I am going back to watch the trials.”
With that he had already turned his back on her.
“Wait. I didn’t say that I won’t accept your apologies. So one more bottle of wine and also that you have to carry me back to the stage.” Xuan Danfeng said shyly and her eyes were full of anticipations.
The Three-Destinies Old Man was startled, “Carry you?”
Xuan Danfeng nodded shyly, “I need some face saving measures after I had left just like that earlier. Can you?”
The Three-Destinies Old Man heaved a soft sigh before he nodded slowly.
Xuan Danfeng was delighted as she flew into his arms, “So what are you waiting for?”
The Three-Destinies Old Man: …
With a soft sigh, the Three-Destinies Old Man had lifted her sensual body up with his strong arms and his eyes were staring at her sensual exposed cleavage. He muttered silently, “Sinful. This is too sinful. I am a man of culture…”
As the Three-Destinies Old Man carried her, Xuan Danfeng had put her fingers on his firm chest as she sniffed his scent. “He has a most wondrous profound aura. Is he…an immortal cultivator? He has the same scent as Yuqing…”
At the same time, the Three-Destinies Old Man was thinking, “She is really so soft…”
“Why are you following me?” He could not resist asking her.
“Naturally it is because you have good wines. Do you think that it is because of your good looks?” Xuan Danfeng chuckled as she looked intently at him.
The Three-Destinies Old Man nodded proudly, “Of course not. Only a blind person will like an ugly old man like me.”
“Hehehe, is that so?” Xuan Danfeng muttered softly.